Today’s celebrity culture has become too much for former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. He no longer wants to be considered a celebrity in light of “crazy” things that many celebrities are doing in today’s world and how they treat people.
“These celebrities are going freaking crazy, and I don’t want to be one,” he said. “I denounce my celebrity-ness today. I’m done with it. I don’t want to be in that category. Celebrities are crazy, they really are. Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.”
O’Neal joined Charles Barkley in mocking Hollywood actor Jussie Smollett who was arrested for faking an attack he blamed on Trump supporters in Chicago. During the exchange which talked about the stupidity of Smollet’s actions, O’Neal could hardly breathe from laughter as Barkley spoke on the topic.
Charles Barkley and Inside The NBA clowning Jussie Smollett pic.twitter.com/qnEHlTTrnT
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) February 22, 2019
Since retiring from the NBA, O’Neal has focused on helping others and is known for performing random acts of kindness. He also has spoken up for values that many celebrities are quiet on, such as the issue of free speech. O’Neal spoke out against China over the controversy back in 2019 when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey posted a tweet in support of Hong Kong.
“As American people, we do a lot of business in China,” O’Neal said. “And they know and understand our values and we understand their values. And one of our best values in America is free speech. We’re allowed to say what we want to say and we’re allowed to speak up on injustices, and that’s just how it goes. And if people don’t understand that, that’s something that they have to deal with.
“Daryl Morey was right. Whenever you see something going on wrong anywhere in the world, you should have the right to say `that’s not right,’ and that’s what he did. Here, we have the right to speak and especially with social media, we’re going to say whatever we want to say, when we want to say it.”
Lee Hartman | Metro Voice