The crowd at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, erupted in applause upon the sight of Dwyane Wade’s 12-year-old transgender daughter, Zaya, on Saturday.
During the second quarter of Saturday’s Cavaliers vs Heat game, Gabrielle Union, Wade’s wife and a popular actress, was displayed on the Jumbotron with a supportive message to her husband.
“He’s legend status officially,” Union said.
The video then showed Wade’s daughter who has recently been the center of discussion after her father revealed she was transgender at the beginning of the month. The video also displayed Wade’s daughter’s new name — Zaya. The audience began cheering upon the sight of the 12-year-old.
“I know that’s going to be a huge moment for everyone, especially our family,” Zaya said of her dad's retirement.
The tribute video was played during a three-day retirement ceremony meant to honor the former Miami Heat player.
Earlier this month during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Wade announced that his child, formerly known as Zion, explained she wanted to be called Zaya while coming out as transgender, as Blavity previously reported. Wade continued to highlight how he and Union remain “vessels of information for their children” and pledged their undying support for Zaya.
Union took to Twitter to share a video of Zaya explaining the benefits of living your life as your true self.
Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people. pic.twitter.com/G2lLVdD2VT— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 11, 2020
Shortly after introducing Zaya to the world, skeptics, including Young Thug and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, rapper Boosie Badazz, shared transphobic responses to the 12-year-old’s new gender identity as well as Wade’s version of parenting, as Blavity previously reported.
However, other celebrities showed support through online videos, like Cardi B who showed her dismay at the online responses to the announcement.
“While you free and letting it out and telling your truth, why not educate?” the rapper asked.
Cardi B addressing the situation about Dwayne Wade, his daughter Zaya, and Boosie pic.twitter.com/HONdH0fPET— 🤍 (@torriosantini) February 22, 2020
Twitter fans showed support for the gesture.
Heat Nation is the bestttttttt https://t.co/Oa0eiW9oxc— raveen 🤎 (@xoraveen) February 23, 2020
I love Miami https://t.co/iucFXmqgaC— Jimmy Jump (@KennyUnfazed) February 23, 2020
The festivities started on Friday and included special “L3GACY” tickets for only $3 as a nod to Wade's now-retired jersey number. The NBA website lists that eight players wore the number before Wade, but after his 16 seasons, 13 all-star selections and three championships the “now-iconic numeral is set to receive sport’s ultimate honor: a spot in the American Airlines rafters.”
All proceeds from the $3 tickets went to the Wade Family Foundation.