Listeners wonder if Shaq is vaccinated after vax mandate comments

Bruno Cooke February 4, 2022
Listeners wonder if Shaq is vaccinated after vax mandate comments
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Inside The NBA sports analyst Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal spoke to Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner on The Big Podcast With Shaq yesterday. During their conversation, he aired his thoughts on covid-19 vaccine mandates, prompting listeners to wonder: Is Shaq vaccinated?

Here’s what Shaq said about vaccine mandates

O’Neal spoke with co-host and Entertainment Tonight correspondent Nischelle Turner yesterday during an episode of The Big Podcast With Shaq.

“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 want to take it. And you shouldn’t have to be forced to take something you don’t want.”

His comments also covered CBS’ vaccine mandate – which Turner said covered her as an Entertainment Tonight employee.

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“I’m with you on the rules because I’m a rules guy,” he continued. “But I do feel sympathetic towards people who have to make that kind of decision.”

“Because if the man don’t take it, the man gonna get fired.”

Listeners wonder if Shaq is vaccinated after comments on covid-19 vaccine mandates

Yes, Shaq is vaccinated against covid-19. 

Appearing on People TV a few months ago, he talked to Kay Adams about his decision to get the vaccine, explaining that part of the reason was that he didn’t want to increase the chance of his mother getting sick.

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“I took it,” he said, “nothing happened. Brother took it, he has underlying conditions. My other little sister took it, [has] underlying conditions. My mother took it,” he continued. “It’s my job as a man to protect, to provide and love for my family.”

“HIV has been around a long time, there’s no cure for that. Cancer has been around a long time with no cure for that,” People quotes him as saying. “You come up with this in a year and a half. I have all those concerns. However, I’ve seen people pass away from this – people close to me.”

“I try not to bash people”, he stressed. “They have their thoughts and opinions. I just try to always set good examples.”

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Shaquille O’Neal cancelled his appearance as DJ Diesel at Coachella’s NYE event due to covid-19 exposure

On New Year’s Eve, 2021, Palm Springs Desert Sun reported that Shaq, who also goes by DJ Diesel, would no longer perform at Day One ’22.

He announced via Instagram that he had come into contact with “multiple people” who had tested positive within the last 24 hours.

“For the safety of everyone including my fans, staff, and fellow artists”, he said, “I don’t feel it is responsible for me to perform at this weekend’s event.”

On his recent comments, various outlets have mentioned that O’Neal previously criticised NBA player Kyrie Irving for his vaccination status. Because he has not received a covid-19 vaccine, writes ESPN, and because of a local mandate that professional athletes playing in New York City public venues be vaccinated against covid-19, he is “ineligible to play at home”.

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.