Shaquille O'Neal
Photo: Ethan Miller / Staff via Getty Images

Shaquille O'Neal reveals in an interview that he revoked his celebrity title 30 years ago

“I don’t want to be in that category,” Shaquille O’Neal told ‘People’ magazine.

  /  04.12.2023

Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal may be a millionaire, NBA legend, and a pillar in his community — but he is not a celebrity, according to him.

The former Los Angeles Lakers star spoke with People magazine and shared when and why he made that decision. “I denounced myself from being a celebrity 30 years ago because a lot of celebrities are a**holes,” he told the outlet. Shaq further divulged that some individuals in the spotlight are “obnoxious” and are often “rude to people.” 

“I don’t want to be in that category. I’d rather demote myself to being just a regular person before you call me a celebrity and put me in the category of those jerk-offs,” he continued.

Outside of his TV appearances as a sports analyst on “NBA on TNT,” commercial ads for Papa Johns and The General, and occasional public outbursts against internet trolls, Shaq is all about philanthropy.

 

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Last month, the 51-year-old New Jersey native teamed up with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Foundation to launch a new program for young kids and teenagers in Georgia. The announcement came two years after Shaq was appointed as the director of community relations for the sheriff’s office.

At the time, he told local reporters that one of his objectives in his new position was to upgrade an emergency shelter for youth crisis, so the kids could have a place that felt like a luxury. The former NBA star also shared that his community work sometimes remains unpublicized because his intentions extend far beyond recognition.

“When I do stuff like this, I never want credit ’cause it’s all about making my mother smile when she watches this tonight,” he stated in 2021. “It’s about making my daughters proud. It’s about making my sons proud. It’s about making everybody proud.” 

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