For those viewers that watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, then you’re well aware that Shaquille O’Neal was present in one segment. While the retired NBA big man claims he has nothing to Joe Exotic, the owner of the controversial Oklahoma animal park featured in the series, PETA is still putting the press on the Big Aristotle for his connection with the park’s current owner.
Greater Wynnewood Animal Park, formerly owned by Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was taken over by South Carolina businessman, Jeff Lowe. The park, known for its big cats, attracted the interest of Shaq, who says he’s a fan of the animals and donated supplies to the park but has never purchased one for himself.
O’Neal cleared his name of the connection from his end via his The Big Podcast with Shaq program hosted alongside John Kincade. But while O’Neal and Exotic may not be good friends, his connection with Lowe is definitely current which PETA noted in a letter blasting him.
We saw your statement about not being as involved with Joe Exotic as the Tiger King documentary has made it seem.
It appears that the equally problematic wild-animal exhibitor, Jeff Lowe, is now claiming to have your support.
Given your disavowal of Joe, we were surprised when this photo was posted on Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park’s Facebook page last week, purportedly showing you communicating with Lowe via FaceTime and alleging that you offered him support.
It’s clear that you love tigers, and we hope you will dissociate yourself from people who profit from abusing, breeding, and exploiting them. Lowe is no different from Joe Exotic when it comes to harming animals.
So far, Big Shaq hasn’t responded to PETA’s letter.