NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal confessed that he voted for the first time in his life this election because he doesn’t want to be a ‘hypocrite’ after promoting voting initiatives.
O’Neal made the revelation on Wednesday during an episode of The Big Podcast With Shaq, in which he said he’s gone 30 years without ever casting a ballot.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession. You know I always like being honest on my podcast,’ he told his co-hosts and audience.
‘I’ve never voted before, America. But now I’m doing all these voting campaigns, and you know one thing I never like to do is be a hypocrite.
‘So the other day, I got my absentee ballot…In other words America, I voted for the first time, and it feels good.
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Shaquille O’Neal (pictured) revealed on his podcast that he voted for the first time this year and ‘it feels good’
O’Neal added that he felt uncomfortable advocating for voting initiatives and campaigns when he has not completed a ballot
‘I’m honest, I’ve never voted in my life. This is my first time voting.’
O’Neal added that he felt at odds with being asked back voting initiatives, like the #MyStartingFive challenge from When We All Vote, while being inactive himself.
The co-hosts were flabbergasted by the news, prompting the 48-year-old Hall of Fame recipient to divulge his confusion with the Electoral College.
He specifically flagged the 2016 Presidential election when Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by winning the Electoral College – despite losing the popular vote by almost 2.9million votes.
O’Neal’s co-hosts were also amused by his confession. During Game 1 of the NBA finals, O’Neal virutally sat next to former President Barack Obama, who based on the admissions did not receive the athelet’s vote in 2008 or 2012.
During the NBA finals, numerous athletes used the national media coverage to bring awareness to racial inequality, police brutality and criticism the ongoing Breonna Taylor case proceedings.
The season was briefly postponed after major players like Lebron James, of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Kawhi Leonard, of the Los Angeles Clippers, decided to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake.
During Game 1 of the NBA Finals, O’Neal (bottom center) was seated next to former President Barack Obama (right)
But despite players’ vocal social justice campaigns, only a small percentage of them actually voted in the previous election.
During discussions about resuming the season amid protests, The Undefeated reported that only 20 per cent of eligible NBA players voted in 2016.
And Clippers coach Doc Rivers mentioned that players discussed walking the walk, not just talking the talk.
‘In the meeting, it came up. In the players’ meeting, that, “Let’s walk the walk. We can’t just do the talk.” And it’s all the players,’ said Rivers, per ESPN.
O’Neal: ‘So the other day, I got my absentee ballot…In other words America, I voted for the first time, and it feels good’
‘I think it was like 20 percent of the players voted in the last election or something like that and, to a man, they all – we’re going to get them registered here in the bubble. We are going to try to get every team registered, every player registered to vote.
‘It’s so difficult for players because most of the time it’s in the middle of the season, and players are from so many different states, that it’s a lot of absentee voting.
‘And we’re going to get them all done. We want to get it up in the 80s, 90s, 100, if possible, percentile as far as players and coaches voting.’
While O’Neal’s declaration shocked fans this week, fans of rapper Snoop Dogg were equally as floored when he announced the same thing in June.
Snopp Dogg said he falsely believed he was not eligible to vote because of his previous criminal record, but said he will vote in the 2020 election.
Follow my lead: ‘Everybody know I’m a front-liner. I ain’t gonna tell you to do something I didn’t do.’
Although O’Neal did not reveal who he backed on his ballot, Snoop Dogg was crystal clear on who would receive his vote.
‘I ain’t never voted a day in my life, but this year I think Imma get out and vote because I can’t stand to see this punk in office one more year,’
Snoop Dogg has previously disparaged President Trump as a ‘racist’ and even lashed out at fellow rapper Kanye West for his support.
‘I can’t talk about it and not be about it,’ said Snoop Dogg. ‘I can’t tell you to do it then you don’t go do it. Everybody know I’m a front-liner. I ain’t gonna tell you to do something I didn’t do.’