Since retiring from basketball, Shaquille O'Neal, known to most as "Shaq," just can't sit still. The NBA Hall-of-Famer discussed having something else up his sleeve as well. He may be the future sheriff of Henry County, GA.
According to the Washington Post, Shaq first threw out the idea of running for sheriff in May during a TV interview. Shaq recently bought a home in Henry County after signing an extension with TNT in 2015. As a studio analyst for both Atlanta based networks TNT and NBA TV, Henry County was the perfect place for his new home. With his new residence came the desire to live out a dream he's had for awhile.
Shaq's desire to run for Sheriff comes from the divide he sees between police and the community. Cases such as Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, and Terrence Crutcher have sparked protests about the injustice of the system.
“The gap between law enforcement and communities is too spread out. When I was coming up, police were really respected. I don’t know how it’s gotten so far apart, but I know in the community that I live in, I know that I could change some of that,” Shaq said during a charity free throw shooting competition. “I’d just have to do it piece by piece and piece by piece, the way I do business, and the way I won championships, I’m very confident that I can run a successful operation.”
Shaq plans to have 30 and 40 year veterans by his side to ensure that he does what he's supposed to do. However, his main focus is to close the gap between police and citizens as well as keep everyone accountable.
Shaq has been a deputy marshal in Lafayette, LA and a reserve police officer in Florida. In December 2016, he was sworn in as a sheriff’s deputy in Clayton County, GA. Two of his uncles were police officers growing up. So his involvement in law enforcement has been a long time coming. Now it's time to see if he can follow through.
Would you feel secure with Shaq as your sheriff?