Shaq says he tells his kids to always 'comply with cops' but knows it doesn't guarantee their safety
The NBA Hall of Famer appeared virtually on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ and opened up about George Floyd death and the protests
Shaquille O'Neal has become the latest celebrity to open up about George Floyd’s death and the protests taking place across the US due to the tragedy. He also revealed the candid conversations he has with his children — Taahriah, 23, Myles, 23, Shareef, 20, Amirah, 18, Shaqir, 17, and Me'arah, 14 — about police brutality and what to say and do in a potential interaction with police.
The NBA Hall of Famer appeared virtually on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ on Tuesday night, June 2, where he told the host: “I have that talk with them all the time. I tell them, first of all, you have to try to diffuse the situation by showing respect because you have to understand that these people are also out here doing their job. So, you gotta diffuse the situation. And if it happens to get rough, don't do anything. Don't say anything. Just comply.
“And then, when it's all said and done, you call me. And if stuff gets out of hand, then I will handle it," O'Neal continued. "I will be the one to come out there and act crazy. I don't want you to act crazy while you're out there by yourself. So, I just try to tell them to just comply, to just listen."
However, referring to the May 25 death of George Floyd, who was killed after a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, O'Neal said that according to him, compliance does not always guarantee safety. "I try to be real with them and have, you know, certain conversations. But, you know, from the videos that I've seen with Mr. Floyd, he was compliant. I've seen three different videos. I saw one video, they had him on a wall. He wasn't talking back. He wasn't struggling. I saw another video of the car, you know, appears to be they were roughing him up. And then the last video, I see the officer with his knee on his neck. That's not supposed to happen but I have those conversations all the time. But I also tell them that, you know, just show respect,” he explained during the show.
Continuing over the unarmed Floyd’s death, O'Neal, who also served as a reserve police officer in both Los Angeles and Miami, said: “There's an old saying that goes, ‘What's right is right and what's wrong is wrong.' What happened to George Floyd was all the way wrong. Absolutely wrong. Uncalled for. I've never seen that technique taught. A lot of police officers I've talked to would never do that. Everybody's upset. Everybody's tired. We demand justice. You know, they try to appease us by arresting one guy but there were four officers out there and I think people are just sick and tired."
During the conversation, the former Los Angeles Lakers player said that he has seen protests and riots before, but this was the first time that he has seen them happening all across the nation. “I'm 48 years old and I've seen, you know, outbreaks and riots before. This is the first time I think the country is doing it all at the same time. I've never seen it in more than one city."
“They want equality. They want justice. And I understand. I do understand. I'm all for peaceful protesting. I don't like the opportunists that are riding around the neighborhoods leaving bricks trying to cause riots. I don't like people breaking into stores. I don't condone all that, but I am for peaceful protesting and I am for justice,” O'Neal added.
Later in the show, O'Neal also took a slight dig at President Donald Trump as he stated, “I wish we had someone in a leadership position at the White House that would bring people together,” adding he really misses Obama.