Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade has responded to Donald Trump's opportunistic tweet about the death of his cousin. In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos that aired Friday morning, Wade said that Trump's tweet left "a bad taste in [his] mouth."
On August 26, Wade's first cousin, Nykea Aldridge, was fatally shot while walking her infant child in Chicago's Parkway Gardens. Aldridge was not the intended target of the shooting.
The next day Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting in a ham-handed promotion of his own presidential campaign. Initially Trump's tweet misspelled Wade's first name, but Trump later deleted that iteration and retweeted the same message with the correct spelling.
In the interview with Stephanopoulos, Wade said that he felt "conflicted" about Trump's tweet. "I was grateful that it started a conversation," Wade said. "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 also had criticism for the media for not using Aldridge's name in news reports. "A lot of things I've seen wasn't even her name," Wade said, referring to the media's tendency to label Aldridge simply as "Dwyane Wade's cousin."
"That hurt me, to be the name they talked about, instead of talking about a mother of four. That kind of hurt me and put me in a dark place for a few hours," he said.
Wade also spoke about the cruel irony of his having participated in a YMCA forum on violence in Chicago just one day before his cousin's tragic death. "We're using our voice, we're using our platform to try to shed some light on the city of Chicago," Wade told Stephanopoulos, "and then hours later, one of my family members was killed."
A recent spike in homicides has made August was the deadliest month in Chicago since 1997.