Shaq Embraces Negropean Status, Admits to Disparaging 1996 Protest During the Anthem

Photo Credit: Shaquille O'neal, Airman First Class Justin T. Armstrong

It should not be a surprise that, though the overwhelming majority of Black people support protests during the anthem, there are those who do not.  And wealthy, extremely talented athletes are no exception.  Shaquille O’Neal has recently revealed in an interview that he called Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf after Abdul_Rauf refused to stand during the national anthem in 1996, and informed the hero fellow player and former LSU teammate that he was “trippin’.”  Shaq also added that he would have chosen a different method to address racial justice than that chosen by Colin Kaepernick. 

It was Abdul-Rauf’s actions that eventually lead to the NBA establishing a rule equally as inappropriate, racist,  ridiculous as the NFL’s, despite not being discussed as often, of mandating that players stand during the national anthem.  The NBA often receives praise for its support of players’ activism–but the question is what kind of support would there be if a player refused to stand for the national anthem. That would be a true test of purported league support; and given that the NBA is filled with the same white people that exist in the NFL, there is little doubt what the outcome would be.  Anyone who did so would assuredly be told to “shut up and dribble.” 

Article below by Nina Mandell at

Shaq, as he pointed out in a profile published in The Hollywood Reporter this week, doesn’t like talking politics.

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