Bryant wrongfully assumed Wade and his teammates tribute to the slain teen was racially motivated, the shooting guard said in an interview with Bleacher Report during Friday's (March 28) game against the Detroit Pistons. "It was our backyard, and being in our backyard, being something that a lot of guys on this team—not only growing up in the kind of environment that Trayvon was in—but also having young boys," he explained. "Knowing that he is a big fan of the Miami Heat. That is something that we got behind. As a team. I can't even say the organization. It was as a team. We got behind it. And it was more so that than the color of his skin."
Although African-American athletes make up more than 70 percent of the league, the number of causes they support are diverse. "There's a lot of causes that go on, that players get behind, and it's not all Black causes," Wade said, using Chris Bosh's show of support for Venezuela last month as an example. "Most of the causes have something to do with something that's near and dear to you. Like Chris [Bosh] writing on his shoe earlier in the year, because his wife is Venezuelan."
Wade's weigh in on the Bryant matter wasn't the end of the round of responses. Bryant tweeted a rebuttal to the general conversation about his New Yorker interview. "One more time for the tweeting impaired this is NOT about legal debate or sides It's about equality on ALL fronts #colorblind #genderblind," he wrote Friday. "Critical or not. We've had a tone of convo the last few days about a BIG issue. That's always a good thing. Luv to All who tweeted thoughts."
Last week, Bryant tweeted that his critique of the Heat doesn't mean that he agrees with the acquittal of Martin's accused murderer, Geoge Zimmerman, last July. Two days after Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder, Bryant Instagrammed a quote from Frederick Douglass that read in part, "Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails." He retweeted a screen shot of the original post last Friday (March 28).
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(Photos: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for ESPY; Christian Petersen/Getty Images)