• Dwyane Wade and wife Gabrielle Union have come to the defense of their son after social media attacks. (Getty Images North America)
"As a parent my only goal is that my kids feel that i see them, love them and support them."
Samuel Leighton-Dore

3 Dec 2019 - 1:40 PM  UPDATED 3 Dec 2019 - 1:40 PM

Former Miami Heat NBA player Dwayne Wade has been forced to defend his 12-year-old son, Zion Malachi Airamis, after social media users began taunting the child for wearing nail-polish.

It all began when Wade's wife, actress Gabrielle Union, posted a Thanksgiving family photo last week, in which Zion can be seen rocking long white nails and a midriff top.

"I've seen some post-thanksgiving hate on social about my family photo," Wade tweeted the following day.

"Stupidity is apart of this world we live in—so i get it. But here's the thing—I've been chosen to lead my family not y'all."

He added: "So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!"

In a follow-up tweet, Wade said that his "only goal" as a parent "is that my kids feel that i see them, love them and support them."

Fans online were quick to celebrate the sport star's approach to parenting.

"If I could get a family photo as smashing as the one he’s speaking of, I’d be damn happy," one follower wrote.

"Shout out to @DwyaneWade, Gabrielle, and Zion for showing what a supportive family looks like, and leading a movement."

Others were moved by the overt display of acceptance and love, expressing the sense of catharsis they felt seeing such open father-son love - even if only on social media.

"Witnessing this type of parental love heals those of us who weren't as fortunate," one man tweeted.

"It's an *interesting* experience being a grown-ass man and being brought to tears just seeing a dad love his kid for who they are."

It's not the first time the family have been vocal in their support of diverse expressions of gender. Earlier this year, Wade shared a photo of Zion and Union at Miami Beach Pride Parade, writing: "We support each other with Pride."


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