Sometimes life serves as a cruel reminder that sports are but a momentary escape. One day removed from participating in a televised ESPN town hall summit decrying gun violence; that very evil invaded the personal life of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade.
Chicago-born, Wade jubilantly returned to the city that raised him after inking a two-year $47 million deal with the Bulls July 15. Unfortunately, on Friday the city that so recently stoked Wade's unabated joy served to quash that sentiment while compounding his grief. In a senseless act of tragedy, Wade's first cousin Nykea Aldrige was gunned down by feuding gang members as she pushed her young child in a stroller.
Though the 32-year-old Aldrige wasn't the intended target, nonetheless her life was cut short. While charges have yet to be filed, Chicago police have questioned two men in connection to the Parkway Gardens shooting.
A distraught Wade took to social media Friday calling for an end to the unintelligible brutality that claimed his cousin's life. "These young kids are screaming for help!!!" #EnoughIsEnough
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 27, 2016
Wade, 34, stated: "The city of Chicago is hurting. We need more help and more hands on deck. Not for me and my family but for the future of our world. THE YOUTH!"
On Friday night the Chicago Bulls organization released this statement concerning Nykea Aldriges' death. "The entire Chicago Bulls organization is deeply saddened by the news of Dwayne Wade's cousin, Nykea Aldrige. We send our deepest condolences to the entire Wade family during this difficult time."
Official Chicago Bulls Statement on the Passing of Dwyane Wade’s Cousin: https://t.co/vbRL4v5bc3— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) August 27, 2016
Finally, in an act of class that has become synonymous with Oklahoma City's Enes Kanter, the fifth-year pro sent his condolences to Wade and his family.
I'm sorry for your loss my man. @DwyaneWade— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) August 27, 2016
Thoughts and prayers with your family.
The lone silver lining in this catastrophe was that Aldrige's child was unharmed. Following Friday's misfortune, ABC News stated a member of Wade's family took custody of the child. During Thursday's ESPN town hall, Dwyane Wade said of America's pervasive culture of gun violence, "This is something that didn't start today, this is something that isn't going to end tomorrow. Hopefully, eventually we can stop it."
According to World Atlas, Chicago ranks 24th among the most dangerous cities in the U.S.