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Thank You, Shaq

Gabriella Hoffman
by Gabriella Hoffman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Legendary basketball player Shaquille O’Neal isn’t parroting NBA talking points on China. In fact, he’s doing the exact opposite.

On NBA Opening Night, the former Lakers player and off-duty cop came to the defense of Daryl Morey, General Manager of the Houston Rockets, 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.”

“Daryl Morey was right,” he noted. “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.”

O’Neal added, “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.”
Here are Shaq’s full remarks:

Very bold of Shaq. It’s refreshing to see him go against the grain.

Compare his words and actions to that of LeBron James, also a Los Angeles Lakers player. He just did this:

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