Dwyane Wade, star shooting-guard for the NBA's Chicago Bulls, has responded to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's apparent attempt to use the tragic death of the professional basketball player's cousin for his own political gain. In a new interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC's Good Morning America, Wade said Thursday that Trump's tweet about his cousin left him conflicted, with a "bad taste" in his mouth.
Wade's cousin Nykea Aldridge, a 32-year-old mother of four, was shot and killed Aug. 26 in Chicago while pushing a stroller. Police have said she was not the intended target. Trump seemed to use the incident as a political opportunity, tweeting, "Dwyane Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!"
Trump initially misspelled Wade's first name, then re-wrote the same exact tweet with the proper spelling. He later offered his "condolences" in another tweet.
"You know, it's like, on one hand, your cousin's death is used as a ploy for political gain," Wade told Stephanopoulos in the interview, via Politico. But Wade did say it served to bring attention to violence in Chicago and he wants "eyes on this city."
"I was grateful that it started a conversation but on the other hand, it just left a bad taste in my mouth because of what my family is dealing with and what our city of Chicago is dealing with and it looks like it’s being used as political gain," Wade added.
It's unclear if Trump has apologized to the Wade or Aldridge family over the tweet, but the Trump camp has worked to defend the controversial posting. Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said people should read both tweets Trump sent out about the shooting.
"He expresses his condolences and he says — and he reminds everybody he's been trying to make the case that the increase in random crime and senseless murders, the poverty, the joblessness, the homelessness in some of our major cities is unacceptable to all of us," Conway said on CBS's "Face the Nation," via the Hill.