Shaquille O'Neal may be rich and famous but he sure as hell does not want to be referred to as a “celebrity,” considering the bad taste it tends to leave in peoples’ mouths.
In a recent interview with The New York Post, the former NBA star mentioned that he doesn’t want to be considered a celebrity anymore, because that moniker tends to bring with it an air of elitism and hypocrisy that he tries hard to avoid.
We’re all conservatives here. When was the last time you heard the term “celebrities” and didn’t think, “Oh, what idiotic and condescending lecture am I in for this time?” Yeah, probably not at any point in the last five years.
So, it’s easy to see where the former LA Lakers and four-time NBA league champion is coming from. “These celebrities are going freaking crazy and I don’t want to be one. I denounce my celebrity-ness today. I’m done with it,” he told The Post.
Well, you know what, Shaq? You’re such a chill guy that we’ll grant you honorary normal guy status.
But, seriously, Shaq seems acutely aware of how Hollywood and famous athletes have rubbed people the wrong way, particularly with their politics. They also haven’t helped their reputations with their recent glitzy and maskless outings, while the photographers, journalists and salaried event coordinators and workers have had to wear masks.
“I don’t want to be in that category. Celebrities are crazy, they really are. Don’t call me that anymore,” Shaquille claimed, adding that he doesn’t like the way they treat people in general. “These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say.”
Yup, there are many celebrity hypocrites. We at MRC Culture are quite familiar with that. Shaq added, “That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.”
Shaq insisted that he has always lived his life prioritizing being humble and earning the wealth he now enjoys. “I’m a regular person that listened, followed his dreams and made it,” he told the paper.
“I came from nothing. But, just because I made it doesn’t mean I’m bigger than you, smarter than you — just because I have more money doesn’t mean I’m better than you. I’ve never been that way and I never will be that way,” he said.
As The Post reminded readers, Shaq’s life story features the textbook depiction of humble beginnings. “O’Neal grew up poor in Newark, New Jersey, and has credited the Boys & Girls Club of America for helping to keep him off the streets and out of trouble,” the outlet wrote.
That being the case, O’Neal has made giving back to his community and the less fortunate a major priority in his life. His new partnership with cereal brand Kelloggs, and involvement in the company’s charity initiative called Mission Tiger, has enabled 60,000 middle schoolers across the country to have access to sports. Mission Tiger has donated “new sports equipment, including uniforms” to these schools.
O’Neal added that he just wants to be known as a “nice” guy. “I want people to say, ‘Bro, he’s nice. He didn’t have an entourage. His people didn’t take my phone because I took a picture and threw it.'” Well, compared to all the celebrities we write about, we can say he’s earned nice guy status. Well done, Shaq.