Miami Heat point guard D. Wade has been fined $15K by the league after he responded with an obscene gesture to fans who spoke out against his wife, Gabrielle Union. The incident occurred during the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat match up on January 21, 2015. The crowd began spewing nasty comments against the actress and Wade got heated and gave them “the middle finger.” This response garnered the point guard a hefty fine by the National Basketball Association (NBA).
This is not the first time a player had beef with another because of trash talk against their spouse. A few years ago, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett made headlines after Anthony exchanged obscenities with Garnett on the court. After all was said and done, it turned out that Garnett had said a few things about Anthony’s wife LaLa. This time instead of it being player against player, the beef spread outside of the court to the fans.
Wade understands that hecklers will always be around and said initially he tried to ignore them but as the night continued the disrespectful comments about Gabrielle intensified. The point guard said he does not care what people say about him, they can talk about him all day because he knows when he walks off the court many of them are in the back hall trying to greet him and shake his hand. However, it goes too far when it crosses the line to include his family. The player feels the league could do more and spoke out against them saying:
The National Basketball Association is an unbelievable league and I am one of the first to be doing all these things in the community including NBA Cares, but they need to do a better job of protecting players in the arena. It is open game on us; we are big boys and can take it, but everyone has their breaking point.
The fans have mixed emotions on the issue; while many agree with Wade others feel it is just par for the course. Some fans feel that Gabrielle has been very vocal at games and this is him was reaping what she has sown. Others feel fans should be put out if they disrupt the game with too much heckling. One fan said:
At what point does a disrespectful heckler get removed or banned? I do not disagree with the fine, but I agree with Wade. The players take a lot of crap and it’s not cool.
Another basketball fan who supports Wade’s actions said:
The NBA is wrong. They should not fine 15k. It is a high fine for something which security could have prevented. I do not agree with the NBA. Wade did the right thing and lost his head.
Eric Spoelstra, Miami Heat coach, said he agrees that fans can really get out of hands at times but this does not give the players the right to act out of character. They are human and some of the remarks from the fans cross the line but it does not give players free course to snap back like that. It is usually at an emotional time, said Spoelstra who added:
A handful of times a year you hear it and you see it where they have crossed the line and what it requires is you being the better person and not responding.
Dwayne Tyrone Wade, Jr. has been in the league since 2003 and has established himself as one of the most well-known players in the league. Although the fans may sympathize with Wade and feel he did the right thing by defending his wife, the National Basketball Association disagrees with the manner he chose to do so and has slammed the point guard with a hefty $15K fine.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Image Courtesy of Brian Smith) – Creativecommons Flickr License