MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade’s pregame routine has sparked a bit of an international incident, with some Canadians saying Sunday that he disrespected their national anthem. The Miami Heat star was the subject of much scorn after video showed him taking a few extra warm-up shots as “O Canada” was performed before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday. Wade tends to not line up for the pregame anthem ceremony without making his last shot, usually a bank shot from the right wing — even when only “The Star-Spangled Banner” is to played before home games. Video showed that he did not take his spot standing with teammates until about 20 seconds into the playing of the Canadian anthem Saturday. “I’m not a disrespectful person,” Wade said. “So if anybody thinks I’m being disrespectful to a country, then they don’t know who Dwyane Wade is.” Wade said he’d adjust his pregame ritual for Game 4 of the series Monday night. “We spoke to the team, and the Heat will work with its players to make sure no pregame routines interfere with either anthem going forward,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Sunday. The anthem before Miami home games is usually played at the end of the warmup period. When the Raptors — Canada’s only NBA team — come to Miami for what becomes a two-anthem pregame, the songs are played about 12 minutes earlier and during the warmups. Some videos posted online show that someone threw a ball skyward at the Raptors’ end of the court a second or two into the performing of the Canadian anthem on Saturday, though it was impossible to determine who it was. “If people aren’t here, they see video footage of what they want to see,” Wade said. Canadian politicians were quick to express their displeasure with the perceived slight. “Hey @DwyaneWade a Canadian invented the game. Respect the anthem,” read a tweet from the verified account of Toronto Mayor John Tory.
I’ll be perfectly honest – its a dick move to not stand up during a country’s National Anthem. When Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf did it for the Star Spangled Banner, Americans were pissed. When there were rumors that Cespedes didnt stand up for the Anthem, people were pissed. Everybody wants America respected, so its only right you show that same respect in turn. Its a very easy thing to do. Takes a minute, avoids drama. Its just the right thing to do. When the Star Spangled Banner is bumping people are thinking about men and women who died for freedom and all that heavy hearted shit. So the same thing is going on when another country is playing theirs.
But I’d be lying if part of me wasnt thinking – kick rocks, Canada. I mean its Canada. Does Canada even have any rich history behind that song? I feel like “O Canada” is about maple syrup and hockey. Dont get me wrong, the song goes. Real nice song. Sounds great. Its no Spangled Banner, but its a good anthem. But it aint a big deal. Isnt half the song in French? Cmon now. Thats preposterous. If Dwayne Wade wants to shoot jumpers during some French song, he can absolutely do that. Just count your lucky stars we havent taken the Raptors away from you altogether, Toronto. Keep running your mouths and we’ll give you the Grizzlies treatment and pluck you right out of that whole country. You fit your Anthem schedule around Dwyane Wade and all the other American players’ warm ups – not the other way around, got it?