In August, we learned that only 20% of NBA players were registered to vote at that time. Now, news of Shaq voting for the first time this year is hardly a surprise.
In countries like Australia, not going to vote is a penalizable offense. Most countries do not, however, enforce voting upon their citizens.
Perhaps Shaq never felt the need to go out and influence voters by standing in line during previous elections. Any way you splice it, however, it’s hardly a surprise that even a model citizen like Shaq did not use his democratic rights before this.
Why Shaquille O’Neal voted for the first time this year
Speaking on his podcast ‘The Big Podcast with Shaq’, the Lakers legend admitted he’d never voted before and to filling out an absentee ballot.
“You know I always like being honest on my podcast. I’ve never voted before, America,” O’Neal said. “But, now I’m doing all these voting campaigns, and you know one thing I never like to do is be a hypocrite.”
“In other words, America, I voted for the first time, and it feels good,” he told his co-hosts, who were shocked by the admission.
After being pressed by co-host John Kincade, O’Neal explained that he “didn’t understand the electoral college system.” He brought up the 2016 election as an example. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a margin of 3 million, but still lost to Donald Trump.
Shaquille O’Neal Admits, ‘I Just Voted For the First Time, Feels Good!’ https://t.co/JvdsDmLl30
— TMZ (@TMZ) October 9, 2020
He said he has “no excuse” for not voting earlier.
He has, however, campaigned for some officials in elections, such as Atlanta’s district attorney, Fani Willis. Shaq did not even vote for close friend Barack Obama, who he sat alongside during Game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals on the virtual screen.