Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I came across two stories on the internet that caused me to rethink my stance on professional athletes. I am usually a harsh critic of professional sports and athletes, because I think they represent so much of what is wrong with American values. We can be so fanatical about our favorite sports teams, but apathetic concerning things of real importance that don’t affect us directly like the AIDS epidemic in Africa. My most derogatory comments have been reserved for the athletes themselves who are often immature and profane brats. The only reason they seem to be interested in community service of any kind is to increase their market appeal. These men are unfortunately role models for millions of American youth who worship at temples like Fenway park and the Staples Center to see their favorite deity in action.
But today, I had to be reminded that you can’t judge all athletes, because there are some who really make good use of their celebrity status, and seems to actually be good role models. The hurricane Katrina disaster has brought out the humanitarian in many athletes, and much of their efforts have appeared selfless and truly motivated by the desire to help.

Previously, I had lumped Shaquille O’Neal in as one of many overpaid NBA superstars who cared more about his bank account above all else. I had little reason to judge Shaq. I only knew that we was a successful star for a major franchise and that he had marketed himself very well with movies and rap albums to boot. Then today I read this story about everything Shaq is doing for hurricane relief, how he has gotten personally involved in the relief effort with his money, his name, and his muscle.

If that was not enough, in an unrelated article, I read about how Shaq has been training to become a police officer. It does not appear to be a publicity stunt, but apparently Shaq has always been interested in law enforcement and wants to be a police chief or county sheriff one day. I read this article about Shaq’s recent assist in the arrest of a man who assaulted a gay couple in Miami Beach. Now to me, this is quite remarkable, because professional sports are riddle with the most homophobic of men, and to have the NBA’s biggest player protecting and serving the gay community is extraordinarily laudable. Anyway, I felt the need to comment on Shaq’s recent off-court performance, because he is truly demonstrating how professional athletes should behave. Maybe he is a super hero

A new Shaq fan,

“Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”
~Shaquille ONeal


At Wed Sep 14, 06:29:00 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Wow - I lumped him into the neanderthal category, so thanks for setting the record straight. It seems that the move out of LA has done Shaq a lot of good. That quote that concludes the post is very wise.

Maybe Kobe should take notice.

At Thu Sep 15, 03:18:00 PM, Blogger nuwavesoul said...

I've been a Shaq fan for years. He always appeared to be aware of himself and has displayed a self of mastery I admire.


At Fri Sep 16, 01:12:00 AM, Blogger chase said...

I've always liked Shaq, thru knowing some of the things he was involved in, glad to see he's showing and proving. great blog.

At Sat Sep 17, 07:51:00 PM, Blogger MIZPOWDERPINK said...

He appears to be genuine. I know he has done a few things for the Boys and Girls Club in Newark. Joining law enforcement sends a very powerful message. In the recent years NBA players have come across as being rebellious, which I identify with. However we need a balance and this allegiance offers that.


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