Dwyane Wade took to Instagram earlier this week to share a photo of his wife, Gabrielle Union, their 11-month-old daughter Kaavia and Wade’s 12-year-old son Zion.
The retired NBA player captioned the picture “My Girls” with a black and red heart emoji, seemingly calling his son as a girl as well.
While most social media users were appreciative of Wade’s apparent support of his child as they explore their identity, some took issue with Wade referring to a male child as a “girl.”
“What y’all think about this?” one Twitter user asked Monday (Oct. 14) with a screenshot of Wade’s IG post.
What y’all think about this? pic.twitter.com/68GifPNStM
— the lash plug? (@madiithedoll) October 15, 2019
Most of the responses on Twitter were positive.
“Am I supposed to raise my eyebrow at parents loving their kids?” asked one user. “I don’t care long as everyone is happy and healthy,” said another.
Another Twitter user wrote: “I don’t think anything is wrong with it. I actually like the fact [that] he’s treating his son the way he wants too and isn’t disowning / bashing him and etc.”
A lot of responses on Facebook, however, weren’t as positive.
“He can support his child. But call that lil n***a what he is. A BOY,” opined one Facebook user in the comments of a viral re-post of the photo.
“Absolutely disgusting,” said another.
Others pointed out that maybe Wade wasn’t even referring to Zion as a “girl” and was simply talking about Gabrielle Union and their daughter (hence the two hearts on the photo—also, Zion isn’t looking at the camera).
“What if he was literally only talking about Gabby and the baby,” chimed in one user on Twitter.
Gabrielle Union caught wind of the viral tweet and shared her own thoughts.
“Looks like love to me,” she tweeted. “I truly hope that everyone gets the love, support and hugs they deserve. Also Kaav ain’t with the dumb shit. Peace & Blessings good people.”
Looks like love to me ????? I truly hope that everyone gets the love, support and hugs they deserve. Also Kaav ain't with the dumb shit. Peace & Blessings good people. https://t.co/faFyusNktj
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) October 15, 2019
Zion is Dwyane’s son with his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches. The former Miami Heat shooting guard and Union showed their support for Zion back in April when he attended the Miami Pride parade.
“We support each other with pride!” Wade wrote on a photo of Zion and Gabby on his Instagram Stories.
Wade and Union’s public support of Zion wasn’t well-received by all, and Wade clapped back at the haters in an interview with Variety a couple of months later, reminding folks that his number one job as a father is to support his child.
“I don’t really talk about it much because it’s Zion’s story to tell. I think as a family, we should support each other. That’s our job,” he told the magazine.
“And my job as a father is to facilitate their lives and to support them and be behind them in whatever they want to do. My role is to support my kids and love my kids.”
Wade said that he was surprised by the backlash, considering the fact that he was doing what he thought every parent should do.
“I’m very uneasy about accolades that come from supporting my kids or the negativity that comes with it. I’m doing what every parent should do,” he said.
“Once you bring kids into this world, you have to become unselfish. You’re not important anymore. Your kids become the most important thing. Your family becomes the most important thing.”
Wade added: “It’s my job to be their role model, to be the voice in my kids’ lives to let them know that you can conquer the world and you have the support of your father and the support of your family every step of the way, so go and be your amazing self and we’re going to sit back and support you all the way.”