Ball Don’t Lie’s Eric Freeman recently relayed the sad news about Nykea Aldridge, a mother of four who was shot and killed outside the Parkway Garden Homes on Chicago’s South Side on Friday. Aldridge, who is the cousin of Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade, was apparently an innocent bystander caught in the middle of a gunfight.
The NBA community, including Wade, reacted in measured tones about the murder:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, however, waited an entire day to politicize the tragedy as a sort of stump speech-cum-declaration on Saturday morning:
The immediate eye roll comes from the misspelling of Dwyane Wade’s name, but not only is this a common problem even for those that write about D-Wade (for years I filed automatic spellcheck-addled columns to Sports Illustrated’s website that mentioned “Dwayne Wade”), but also busy politicians. Then-presidential candidate John Kerry infamously once spoke of “Lambert Field” while stumping in Wisconsin in 2004, while the late former Boston mayor Thomas Merino repeatedly whiffed on the names of a series of local legends.
Trump, hours after originally posting it, deleted the original tweet. Not to change the content of his
character tone, but the spelling of Wade’s first name:
You’d like to think that if the instinct to use a stranger’s name in order to boost your own election odds would pop up, you’d at least go out of your way to make sure the stranger’s name (no matter how famous the stranger is) would be spelled correctly. This would be treating the author in question as a rational human, however.
What should be offensive, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on or who you’re planning on voting for this November, is the idea that Trump would construct a tweet like this in the first place.
To pass on the plight of any number of grieving families that have lost a loved one to gun violence in order to shoehorn the (misspelled) name of a famous person into 140 characters, and immediately associate that famous person’s race and loss with the apparent confirmation that millions of people will follow in lockstep in a national election’s voting process due to this horrific news.