It was three months ago that reports initially surfaced around prominent Florida Democrats “eyeing NBA legends Wade, 41, and Grant Hill, 50, as possible candidates for a U.S. Senate run in 2024.” But now, Wade has officially confirmed that the rumors were in fact true about being approached to vie for a Florida Senate seat.
Wade told The New York Times, “I mean, it’s just conversation,” continuing “‘Hey, you would be good for,’ ‘Hey, we can see you in,’ ‘We would love to have you in.’” “It’s things that I’m passionate about that I will speak out on and speak up for. And so I don’t play the politician games. I don’t know a lot about it.”
“But I also understand that I have a role as an American citizen and as a known person to be able to highlight and speak on things that other people may not be able to because they don’t have the opportunity to do this,” Wade added.
When the interviewer asked point blank if he was going to be on the ballot, Wade laughed it off and the conversation transitioned back to basketball.
The idea isn’t absurd, especially when you consider the recent influx of celebrities to politics, including former President Donald Trump and renowned actor Hill Harper running for Senate in Michigan. Wade does have deep connections to the Sunshine State, having played with the Miami Heat for 13 seasons. In addition, “Wade has become an outspoken advocate for transgender rights. His 15-year-old daughter, Zaya, is a transgender model and activist.”
During the 2023 state legislative session, Florida Republicans introduced more than 15 bills that were anti-trans, which prompted Wade and his family to leave the state. Wade stated, “My family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there…And so that’s one of the reasons why I do not live there.”
If this pipe dream turns into a reality, he might be back, and the title Senator Dwyane Wade certainly lends itself to the right amount of gravitas. Wade also “wouldn’t be the first Hall of Famer to cross over into the world of politics. Knicks legend Bill Bradley served as a Senator for New Jersey from 1979 to 1997.”
“Dwyane Wade is a Florida legend, whose leadership past and present has a lot of folks in our state sending feelers out…We have seen former athletes, in both parties, bring something special to the political landscape,” stated Ray Paultre, the executive director of Florida Alliance, which is a donor group that plays a large role within the Florida Democratic political scene.