*Former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal has always been a strong supporter of the police, and he has weighed in once more with his All Lives Matter rhetoric, this time by claiming that he’s not worried when he’s stopped by police because he’s “respectful.”
“When I get stopped by the cops, I’m not worried. And it has nothing to do with being Shaq. You know why? I show respect. ‘Yes, sir. No, sir.’ That’s how I was taught. I was raised by a drill sergeant, and that’s who I am,” O’Neal said during a interview with Esquire magazine. “Doesn’t matter if it’s a black guy, white guy, whatever. I’m not going to make it uncomfortable for you because I don’t want it uncomfortable for me. There’s not going to be any talking back—none of that.”
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O’Neal — whose lifelong dream is to be a cop — often mentions his father when discussing this hot topic. His father, a drill sergeant, taught him to respect police and comply with their orders.
“One time, the police were messing with us, and I disrespected them,” he said. “Oh, that was the worst thing I could have ever done. My father grabbed me by my collar, tugged me back and said, ‘Don’t you ever disrespect these men. They’re here to protect us. You listen to them. You say, “Yes, sir. No, sir.” And if he’s not right, if he’s doing stuff out of spite, just obey the letter of the law. Then you come and see me, and I’ll handle it.’ So from that day on, I didn’t disrespect the police anymore.”
O’Neal also provided his thoughts on the role of police in today’s society during a special edition of TNT’s Open Court prior to the start of the 2016-17 NBA regular season.
“If we show respect and just listen to one another, I think we can get a lot of things accomplished,” he tweeted last month.
Click HERE to read more of the NBA legend’s chat with Esquire magazine about policing, Kaepernick, and the state of the league.