In the Wake Of His Cousin’s Death, Dwyane Wade Speaks Out For Progress In Chicago


In the Wake Of His Cousin’s Death, Dwyane Wade Speaks Out For Progress In Chicago

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Dwyane Wade has now made an official statement following his cousin’s shooting.

On August 26, 2016, Nykea Aldridge, was shot and killed. While pushing her child in a stroller, Aldridge was hit by a stray bullet after several gang members opened fire on one another. Her death represent yet another tragic loss in Chicago’s on-going struggle with gun violence.
On September 1, her cousin Dwyane Wade of the Chicago Bulls sat down with ABC News to address her passing:

“It was kind of one of those moments for our family, it’s like – this is not real. My cousin Nykea, she was, I want to say, she was like the quiet one. She would just be there. She would be about her kids. It was shocking to hear not only that she was murdered, but it was shocking to hear the way and how… I want my family to grieve in private as much as possible. It’s becomes this national story…[It] hurt me to be the name they talked about instead of talking about a mother of four.”

Following the original announcement Donald Trump controversially referenced her death on his Twitter page.
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While many found the choice in poor taste, the future Hall of Famer avoided the subject until Thursday, when he addressed it during his ABC interview:

“On one hand your cousin’s death is used as ploy for political gain – on the other hand it’s a national story. It goes back to that for me. I want eyes on the city. I want us to be able to do more together and the only way we can do more together is if more people know what’s going on. I was grateful it started a conversation, but on the other hand, it was a bad taste in my mouth because of what my family is dealing with and what our city of Chicago is dealing with… it looks like it’s been used as a political gain.”

Aldridge’s passing came just one day after Wade and his mother discussed the city’s murder epidemic at a panel hosted by ESPN. Appearing via satellite, Wade talked about the challenges of growing up in Chicago:
“It was all gangs and drug-related when I was growing up there… Looking at the Chicago community and trying to figure out the problem, you try to come in as an individual and say ‘OK, I have a foundation, I want to do something… What is the problem in the community?’
I think it goes way back. I think it goes back to the great migration. I think back then, when jobs was dried up, when we wasn’t privileged to certain higher education, to even healthy food, I think at that moment, at that time, we started to turn on each other. We kind of adopted that mentality that it’s about me surviving, and we still live that today. You know – ‘I don’t want to tell no one else the knowledge that I have because I don’t want this person to be bigger or better than me’. And that’s the mentality that our community has taken. It goes way back. And that’s why I think it’s important for all of us, as I said this earlier, it’s important for all of us to help each other…
It’s about a collective group. It’s about a whole coming together. It’s deep rooted. It’s something that didn’t start today, it’s not going to end tomorrow. But we can start a conversation – we can start the work today, and hopefully eventually we can stop it. “
Wade has been working to create a dialogue on these issues ever since his controversial appearance on the ESPY’s earlier this summer. As he told ABC:
“My purpose for being back in the city is bigger than basketball… I think my purpose at the end of the day hopefully is to come to Chicago and be a part, be a voice that can help bring people together.”

One Response to "In the Wake Of His Cousin’s Death, Dwyane Wade Speaks Out For Progress In Chicago"

  1. CHERYL Y LAMB   Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Mr. Wade and family please accept my sincere condolences for your loss.