Former basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal, more commonly known as Shaq, took a reporter to school on vaccine mandates and it was fantastic.
The former Los Angeles Lakers star and NBA Hall of famer spoke with Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner on “The Big Podcast with Shaq” about his belief that there should not be vaccine mandates.
“Look, I encourage everybody to be safe and take care of your family, I do,” he said. “But there’s still some people that don’t wanna take it. And you shouldn’t have to be forced to take something you don’t want.”
Turner argued that CBS, her employer, has a vaccine mandate but she does not believe she is forced to take the vaccine.
“That’s forced,” he argued.
“It is forced. Because if the man don’t take it, the man gonna get fired,” he said.
But he said previously he would have advise Nets star Kyrie Irving, who did not want to take the vaccine, to take it for the good of his team.
“In this game of ours, sometimes you have to think about other people rather than yourself. Now, Kyrie has his views. He has his opinions. I’m not going to knock that, but he does have an obligation, because he took that 200 million,” he said in September.
“… But if you’re on my team and you can’t play home games, I don’t want you around. Like, we have a chance to win and if you ain’t on the program, go somewhere else, period,” he said.
In January, on his podcast, he said, “I don’t see how the team could put up with that, I’m just saying … If he was on my team I’d have to put hands on him.
“I know for a fact that these windows of winning championships, you don’t have them a lot,” he said. “All that stuff just playing on the road, you can’t get in no rhythm like that.”
But on the podcast with Turner he said that he did get what Turner was saying because he likes to follow rules but he has sympathy for people who do not want to take the vaccine.
“I’m with you on the rules because I’m a rules guy,” he said. “But I do feel sympathetic towards people who have to make that kind of decision.”
“I don’t. Not when you’re putting other people at risk,” Turner responded.
“The day I decided it wasn’t all about me and it’s about us is the day I started winning and really started dominating,” the star said.
“I understand the issues and all that. But I took the vaccine because I’m not trying to get my mother sick, or my sister or my brother or people around me. I know people say, ‘The vaccine came too fast, and is it healthy?’ To each his own. But sometimes you have to think about the overall picture, and you have to think about more than yourself,” he said.