Dwyane Wade Clarifies Tweet Supporting Nick Cannon After Anti-Semitic Comments

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2020

Former Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade speaks during a jersey retirement ceremony at halftime of an NBA basketball game between the Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Dwyane Wade issued a statement on Wednesday, attempting to clarify his support for Nick Cannon after ViacomCBS fired the Wild 'n Out host for making anti-Semitic comments. 

"I want to clarify my now deleted tweet. I was not supporting or condoning what Nick Cannon specifically said, but I had expressed my support of him owning the content and brand he helped create," Wade tweeted.

"I was too quick to respond without being fully informed about his hurtful anti-Semitic remarks. As you all know I have ZERO tolerance for any hate speech!" Wade tweeted in a second clarification. 

Wade's original tweet to Cannon read, "We are with you Keep leading!" Many took Wade's support as him condoning Cannon's anti-Semitic remarks.

In an episode of his Cannon's Class podcast that was recorded last year and reposted June 30, Cannon and Professor Griff espoused several anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Professor Griff was kicked out of Public Enemy in 1989 after saying "Jews are responsible for the majority of the wickedness in the world" in an interview with the Washington Times.

During the podcast, Cannon said we are "giving too much power to the 'they'—and then the 'they' turns into the Illuminati, the Zionists, the Rothschilds." "The Rothschilds" is considered an anti-Semitic dogwhistle.

Cannon also said Black people are the "true Hebrews."

"It's never hate speech, you can't be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people. When we are the same people who they want to be. That's our birthright," Cannon said. 

Cannon also praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has espoused anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric for decades. In the initial blowback for the controversy, Cannon refused to publicly apologize for his comments, leading to his dismissal. ViacomCBS owns MTV, which airs Wild 'n Out. 

"We have spoken with Nick Cannon about an episode of his podcast 'Cannon's Class' on YouTube, which promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories," the ViacomCBS statement read. "While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him."

Cannon responded with a statement Wednesday in which he apologized if he "furthered hate speech" but was largely defiant against Viacom. The statement (warning: contains a racial slur) demands Viacom give him full ownership over the Wild 'n Out franchise and says the company is on the "wrong side of history."

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