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Shaquille O’Neal is treading on dangerous, “this guy isn’t very woke at all” territory. According to the NBA legend, he would never get shots by a copy because he always shows respect to the authorities. 

For the moment, let pretend that being a 7′ tall, easily recognizable NBA legend doesn’t give you an advantage when trying to avoid the f*ckery of a nervous, ego tripping, trigger happy cop.

In an interview with Esquire, Shaq discussed bridging the divide between cops and communities they patrol:

You seem to have a lot of respect and admiration for police. I remember that videoof you going to play basketball with that cop in Florida. Do you think you have a role to play, sort of bridging that divide between police and communities?

Yeah. And one way to bridge the divide is for the media not to portray it as “all.”All police ain’t bad, just like all athletes ain’t bad. Just like all guys in your line of business ain’t bad. We all have the letter of the law to follow. And if you don’t follow that, it shouldn’t always be a reflection of who you work for or who you’re with. Are there some bad policemen? Of course. Guaranteed there are. And hopefully they’re tried and brought to justice.

I would just like to have it re-worded, and talked about in a different manner. And if we as people show respect to one another, we can accomplish a lot. Because guess what? This world is growing, and nobody’s going anywhere. So you have to learn how to respect and tolerate each other. The ones who know how to respect and tolerate each other are the ones that live better and more peacefully.

And then you also have to have understanding. As an African-American male, I understand. I’ve been through it. As a police officer, I understand. I’ve been through it. I understand people. I listen. We’re not put on this Earth to change people’s minds—we just have to listen to them.

Actually, saying the media portrays all cops as bad is highly debatable. Also, one of the biggest issues Black people have with the police is the fact they have historically been shown to be rarely held accountable for their illegal actions—read: murdering unarmed Black people (see: the cop who killed Eric Garner getting multiple pay raises).

So what do you tell a dead man who was gunned down despite being respectful (see: Philando Castile), Shaq?

We’d already been giving Shaq the side eye thanks to his “I would never do that” commentary on Colin Kaepernick. Are we going to have to cancel the big man?


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