One Canadian legislator is demanding an apology from Dwyane Wade and Toronto city politicians are speaking out after the Miami star was caught on camera warming up during the performance of “O Canada” before Saturday’s Raptors-Heat game.
Wade, for his part, is blaming an unfamiliarity with the pre-game routine:
Wade traditionally doesn’t line up for the anthem until he hits his last shot, and blamed timing for his behaviour Saturday. When Canada’s lone NBA franchise plays in Miami, the anthems start earlier than the regular schedule.
“It’s something that I do before every game that I prepare for, and I’ve been doing it my whole career,” Wade said. “So I understand whatever is said from that standpoint, but I’m not a disrespectful person.”
“It was no disrespect from myself. And if anybody feels like it was, please don’t fill up my timeline with disrespectful comments, because that’s not this guy right here. Find somebody else for that. But we’ll adjust our pre-game routine for the next game.”
Canadian politicians weren’t hearing it. Former Ontario premier Bob Rae tweeted:
Meanwhile, Toronto councillor Norm Kelly had the following unhelpful suggestion:
Toronto mayor John Tory spoke to national pride, though to be honest we’re a bit sad we didn’t get to hear what that city’s previous leader would have had to say.
But Ontario provincial parliament member Mike Colle, who represents a district in Toronto, had the hottest take—writing to NBA commissioner Adam Silver demanding an apology from Wade:
Dear Mr. Adam Silver,
As an elected Member of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament in Toronto I am most disturbed by Mr. Dwayne [sic] Wade’s total disrespect for our National Anthem shown prior to last night’s game. (May 8th [sic]). On behalf of many Canadians and my constituents who respect Mr. Wade as an exceptional athlete and who love basketball I ask you as NBA Commissioner to formally seek a public apology from Mr. Wade whom I’m sure regrets his mistake. Thank you for your hoped immediate attention to this urgent matter. I’m certain that similar disrepect for the American Anthem would not be tolerated.
MPP Mike Colle
We hope the NBA offices send MPP Colle one of these responses.