NBA Hall Of Famer Moves Family Out Of Florida, Citing Unwelcoming Climate Under Governor DeSantis – Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)

NBA Hall Of Famer Moves Family Out Of Florida, Citing Unwelcoming Climate Under Governor DeSantis – Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)

One of the most famous NBA players of the last two decades is moving his family out of Florida years after retiring. The possible reason: the state’s governor, who’s a potential presidential candidate.

What Happened: NBA star Dwyane Wade is one of the most famous Miami Heat players of all time, and called Florida home for many years. That has changed for Wade and his family, and one of the main reasons is due to Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who could also be running for president in the 2024 election.

In a recent interview on the Showtime series “Headliners” with sports reporter Rachel Nichols, Wade shared the big reason why he decided to move his family out of the state of Florida to their new home in California.


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Wade was questioned regarding Florida politicians who admire the NBA player but have expressed opposition towards the LGBTQ community, to which a member of Wade’s family belongs.

“That’s another reason why I don’t live in that state,” Wade said, according to People.

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Wade is the father of daughter Zaya, a 15-year old, who came out as transgender in 2020.

“A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions.”

In 2022, the state of Florida passed the controversial Parental Rights in Education Act, commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

DeSantis has been a supporter of legislation banning schools from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity.

“My family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there. And so that’s one of the reasons why I don’t live there,” Wade said about leaving Florida.

Wade shared with Nichols that he credits his father for the parenting philosophies that he uses today.

“I tell my dad all the time, I’m just a mirror image of the way he loved us and the way that he accepted not only myself and my brothers, but other kids in the community that didn’t have father figures.”

Wade told Nichols that he had to educate himself to get a better understanding of the topic, and has lost some friends in the process.

“But I never wavered on loving my kids and trying to find space to get the chance to understand them.”

A report from the New York Post highlights that Wade sold the Florida home that he and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, owned for over a decade in 2021. The sale price was $22 million for the Miami waterfront house, around $10 million under their original asking price in 2019. The home was purchased for $10.6 million in 2010.

The family now resides in California.

Related Link: Exclusive: Joe Biden Tops 2024 Election Betting Odds, Here’s Where DeSantis Ranks 

Why It’s Important: Floridians have a deep affection for Wade, owing to his contributions to the Miami Heat during his 16-year NBA career. His performance on the team led to three NBA Championship victories, further endearing him to the state’s residents.

Wade holds records for the most points, assists, steals and games played as a member of the Heat, a team he played for from 2003 to 2016 and again in the 2018-2019 season. 

In 2010, county commissioners of Miami-Dade County in Florida voted to rename the county Miami-Wade County to pay tribute to the NBA star and his accomplishments and also in an attempt to get him to re-sign with the team.

“I mean, obviously, the tax (situation) is great. Having Wade County is great,” Wade said in the interview.

Wade and wife Union have been advocates for the trans community and often used their platform and award shows to celebrate their daughter and the struggles that the LGBTQ community faces.

DeSantis narrowly won the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election that required a recount. In the 2022 election, DeSantis won re-election by a wide margin with one of the earliest called major races.

Along with potentially forcing out Wade from the state, DeSantis has clashed with another popular Florida resident: media company The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS).

Disney World, the popular theme park owned by the media giant, calls Florida home.

DeSantis has battled aggressively with Disney after the company spoke out on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and angered the governor.

The Florida governor has taken recent measures to appoint a new governing body to control the area that Disney World calls home. DeSantis seeks to end special rules Disney has enjoyed, and even joked about selling land Disney owns and putting a jail near the theme park.

Read Next: Pro DeSantis PAC’s New Ad Pitches Florida Governor As Successor To Donald Trump 

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