Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade angered Toronto Raptors fans on Saturday after he continued shooting during the Canadian national anthem before his team’s game.
As the teams were warming up before tip-off, the national anthem began to play, seeming to catch players on both sides off guard. While nearly all of the players stopped shooting once the song started, Wade could be seen taking a few more practice shots.
Despite the game being played in Miami, Raptors fans took notice of Wade, going to Twitter to call him out on disrespect.
On Sunday, Wade responded to the criticism, saying that a timing issue caused his pregame warm up routine to run into the anthem.
“It’s something that I do before every game that I prepare for, and I’ve been doing it my whole career,” Wade said. “So I understand whatever is said from that standpoint, but I’m not a disrespectful person. So if anybody thinks I’m being disrespectful towards a country, then they have no idea of who Dwyane Wade is.”
The NBA has punished players for not respecting the anthem in the past, suspending Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf in 1996.
Wade finished the game with 38 points as the Raptors came out on top with a 95–91 victory.