“Fatherhood is the best thing that could happen to me, and I’m just glad I can share my voice.” – Dwyane Wade
Let me first begin by saying I am a lifelong Miami Heat fan and Dwyane Wade just so happens to be my favorite player. After entering the league as the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Wade was named to the All-Rookie team and the All-Star team the following nine seasons. In his third season, Wade led the Miami Heat to their first NBA championship in franchise history. He was named the 2006 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated and 2006 NBA Finals MVP as the Heat won the series 4-2 over the Dallas Mavericks. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men’s basketball team, commonly known as the “Redeem Team”, in scoring, as they captured gold medal honors in Beijing, China. In the 2008–09 season, Wade led the league in scoring and earned his first NBA scoring title (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwyane_Wade).
Wade was part of Miami’s second championship win in the 2012 NBA Finals, when Miami defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder. He won his third NBA championship in 2013, when the Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwyane_Wade).
Wade has also been an outstanding father off the court. Following a drama filled divorce from his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, Wade received custody of his two sons and was appointed by President Barack Obama to his fatherhood initiative, a parenting program geared toward getting fathers to be more involved in their kid’s lives. Wade also went on to author a book about the importance of fatherhood.
Today, it has been revealed that Wade fathered a third child, but not with his fiancée Gabrielle Union. Wade reportedly had another child with an unidentified woman a few months ago before proposing to Union. I am confident that Wade will continue to be an outstanding father to his new child, but I am disappointed because we have an epidemic in the African American community with children born to single mothers and when one of the world’s biggest African American athletes display such reckless behavior it allows our youth to think such behavior is acceptable.
72 percent of African-American children are born to unmarried mothers. According to Children-our investment.org, homes without fathers ultimately affect children in numerous tragic ways:
* 63 percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
* 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
* 85 percent of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes
* 80 percent of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes
* 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
* 75 percent of all adolescent patients in chemical-abuse centers come from fatherless homes
* 85 percent of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes
Charles Barkely once famously proclaimed, “I am not a role model”, but to millions of African American young males across the country rappers and athletes are the only male role models they know which makes today’s new regarding NBA Superstar Dwyane Wade so disappointing.