“I’ve seen some post-Thanksgiving hate on social about my family photo,” Wade tweeted to his 8.4 million followers. “Stupidity is a part 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. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!”
In reply to another user, he tweeted, “As a parent my only goal is that my kids feel that I see them, love them and support them.”
In her original message, Union had wished a happy Thanksgiving to her followers, writing: “To all the friends and family that have my back and all the friends and family I’ve never met who show love and support when everyone is looking and when no one is looking...All praise, gratitude and thankfulness.”
This isn’t the first time the family has responded to apparent Internet criticism. In October, Wade captioned an Instagram story that contained an image of Union, their daughter Kaavia James and Zion with the words “My girls.” One user tweeted it and asked, “What y’all think about this?” To that, Union replied, “Looks like love to me. I truly hope that everyone gets the love, support and hugs they deserve” and added, in reference to her daughter’s serious look at the camera, “Also Kaav ain’t with the dumb s---. Peace & Blessings good people.”
Last spring, Wade spoke at length about his support for Zion, who had attended a Miami pride parade along with Union and his siblings. Wade was on the road with the Miami Heat at the time, writing on an Instagram story, “We support each other wide Pride!” His story showed Zion, Union, Kaavia and 17-year-old big brother Zaire Blessing Dwyane.
“Love you lil bro no matter what,” Zaire captioned a photo on his own Instagram story from the event. Added Wade, “Zion had his [own] cheering section today.”
Wade later spoke briefly about the attention his family’s presence had drawn and his and Union’s dedication to supporting the kids, from Zion to budding basketball star Zaire to Kaavia, Xavier (Wade’s child with Aja Metoyer) and Union’s nephew, Dahveon Morris.
“I don’t really talk about it much because it’s Zion’s story to tell,” Wade told Variety in June. “I think as a family, we should support each other. That’s our job. 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.”
Wade expressed surprise to Variety about the social media criticism he’d received for his approach to raising his kids.
“I’m very uneasy about accolades that come from supporting my kids or the negativity that comes from it.," he said. “I’m doing what every parent has to do. Once you bring kids into this world, you become unselfish. It’s my job to be their role model, to be their voice in my kids’ lives, to let them know you can conquer the world. So, go and be your amazing self and we’re going to sit back and just love you.”