Dwyane Wade credits his gay child, Zeke, with inspiring him to be a better parent.
"You want to talk about strength and courage? My 12-year-old son has way more than I have," the NBA legend told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, hosts of the Showtime sports podcast All the Smoke.
Wade, 37, has emerged as an outbroken ally of the LGBTQ community, along with his wife, actress Gabrielle Union. (Zeke is Wade's child from a previous relationship, and the pair now have a blended family.) Recently, when social media users made fun of Zion for wearing gender-nonconforming attire in a Thanksgiving family portrait, Wade doubled down on his love and support.
"Stupidity is apart of this world we live in -- so I get it. But here's the thing -- I've been chosen to lead my family not y'all," he wrote on Twitter. "So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!"
Wade, a former guard with Miami Heat, talked about the importance of being there for his children in the Thursday podcast.
"We talk about our kids being seen by each of us," he said. "We want them to be whoever they feel like they can be in this world. Understand that you can be whoever. You can be whatever."
Wade also spoke about his coming to terms with the reality that Zion was different from his older brother Zaire, which required a conversation with himself about how he would respond if Zion came out to him.
"I had to look myself in the mirror and say, 'What if your son comes home and tells you he's gay? What are you going to do? How are you going to be? How are you going to act?' It ain't about him. He knows who he is. It's about you. Who are you?" he said.
When speaking about how his child has grown and the responsibilities he feels as a parent, Wade notably referred to Zeke with female pronouns.
"I watched my son, from day one, become into who she now eventually has come into," he continued. "And for me, it's all about, nothing changes in my love. Nothing changes in my responsibilities. So the one thing I got to do now is get smarter and educate myself more."