Dwyane Wade responds to Donald Trump's use of his cousin's murder for "political gain": "It just left a bad taste in my mouth"

The NBA superstar described Trump's tweet as a "ploy for political gain," but admitted he felt "conflicted"

Sophia Tesfaye
September 2, 2016 8:04PM (UTC)

In his first comments since Donald Trump noted the shooting death of his cousin a tweet calling on African-Americans to vote for the GOP nominee, basketball star Dwyane Wade said Trump's message "left a bad taste in my mouth"

In a segment that aired Friday on "Good Morning America," the 34-year-old NBA star spoke about his slain cousin, Nykea Aldridge, and Trump's tweet that set off visceral condemnation nationwide.


Aldridge fell victim to gun violence in Chicago while she was pushing her baby in a stroller down the street after. The 32-year-old mother was reportedly returning from registering one of her children in school and was not the intended target, according to police. Two brothers described by police as known gang members have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in Aldridge’s death.

Less than 24 hours after her death, Trump referenced Aldridge’s shooting in a tweet claiming that the young woman's death was “[j]ust what I have been saying” and misspelling Wade’s first name in a since-deleted tweet, before adding "VOTE TRUMP!":

Wade acknowledged that the violence in his hometown of Chicago is a "national story," to host George Stephanopoulos, adding, "I want eyes on this city."

The Chicago Bulls player said of Trump's tweet: "I was grateful that it started a conversation, but on the other hand, it just [left] a bad taste in my mouth because of what my family is dealing with and what our city of Chicago is dealing with, and it looks like it’s being used as a political gain.”

A vocal advocate against gun violence, Wade said he “want us to be able to do more together and the only way we can do more together is for people to know what’s going on.”

Although the NBA star lamented that Trump's tweet was just another example of how it takes celebrity to make death in Chicago a national story.


"A lot of the things I've seen wasn't even her name, and that hurt me to be the name that they talked about instead of talking about a mother of four," he told Stephanopoulos who noted that reports identified the woman as "Dwyane Wade's cousin."

"That kind of hurt me and put me in a dark place for a few hours."

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia TesfayeFOLLOW @SophiaTesfaye

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