Shaquille O’Neal Unnecessarily Criticized Over “Homophobic” Facebook Post

shaq-facebook2012 brought its fair share of athletes going off on homophobic rants — whether sporting some insulting eyeblack or tweeting derogatory remarks — but with a new year comes a new chance for feet to be placed unceremoniously in mouths and the bodies to which they are attached to be taken to task.

Shaquille O’Neal is the latest sportsman to be raked over the coals after he posted a cartoon on his Facebook regarding proper urinal protocol with the comment, “This is an automatic fight in my book…….LMFAO.”

The post sparked some controversy, with some beacons of society claiming Shaq himself was gay (“Thats because he wants something gay”) and others taking it as an attack on gay people (“Glad to know you like to start hate dialogue against gay people shaq just lost a fan here”).

Towleroad described the cozy urinator’s walk as “swishy,” as did some commenters (“He walks funny, too!! – Notice his arms!?!”). Looks more like a jaunty stroll than anything to us, but over 1,000 comments later, the post has been removed.

While Shaq, as Outsports pointed out, has a history of LGBT advocacy, his post reveals the anti-gay sentiment of others who would read so deeply into something as innocuous as a cartoon. The cartoon is not homophobic, unlike people’s reactions to it. So it’s probably for the best that it was taken down.

As for those who claim the former basketball star is homophobic for posting the cartoon, pull up a chair and just take a seat. Anti-gay comments should not be tolerated from anyone, but there’s a difference between being a bigot and being facetious.

And honestly, it’s just common courtesy to give someone some goddamn space when peeing in public. Gay or straight, no one likes someone breathing down their pubes when they’re trying to drain the lizard. And if you do, well, that’s what a stall and a foot-tap are for.

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  • Modernliving3

    I think it’s commendable that Shaq is an advocate of gay rights, and I don’t think this is an overtly homophobic post however, you do have to question why something like this would be posted.
    When a very straight athlete from a very straight sport (no out basketball players) posts a cartoon of a man walking right up to another man at a urinal in what seems to be an empty bathroom, what kind of Twitter response do you think you’re gonna get from very straight male fans?
    Do you honestly think this was about urinal etiquette Queerty? Please.

  • Rich

    You know, I’m gay and I would feel uncomfortable about someone
    urinating right next to me if all the other urinals were empty.

  • Dionte

    I’m gay and I don’t want nobody passing up all those and standing next to me either.

  • Dionte

    …unless he is really cute with a really big :-0

  • Rockery


    It is about etiquette in general. It’s the same with the subway when there are empty seats and someone sits right beside you. Same with the urinal. If I am actually peeing I don’t want to be grazed or talked to particularly, even if I am interested, wait until we get to the sinks and smile. At my old job, my boss used to always talk to me at the urinal and he was straight and I’m gay and I did not really like it (but I most certainly looked at his dick)

  • PrettyLittleLiar

    I’m a gay dude. I can’t stand when someone uses the urinal right next to me when all the other ones are open. I need elbow room, bro!

  • Modernliving3

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally pee shy and I’ll even walk out and wait to come back to a 2 urinal bathroom if it’s too cramped, but who actually goes up to stand next to a guy when there are 12 empty urinals? In all my life I’ve never experienced that unless it was a cruisy situation or at a bar/club when everyone is drunk in cruise mode.
    This was just a dumb post that was obviously lending itself to homophobic replies (and there were hundreds of them). I guess the “This is an automatic fight” comment that goes with the cartoon is what makes me feel this way.

  • Charli Girl

    Hey Shaquille … Guys try to get next to me every freaking day too ,should I start knocking the shit out of them??.

  • Will L

    “This is an automatic fight” was unnecessary. As pointed out above, it opens the door for homophobic replies. He should have made a less violent reference. I, too, am uncomfortable in these situations.

  • FStratford

    Thats BS. I’m gay and it would also creep me out if someone strolls through 8 empty urinals just so they can piss next to me.

    There is an unwritten rule that if there are enough urinals, you dont take the one that is right next to other people, to give them privacy/their space.

  • Caliban

    Why *wouldn’t* Shaq make a joke about it, considering that most men, gay or straight, think it’s a little weird if someone skips a bunch of urinals to stand right next to them to piss? It’s a MAN thing, not a gay/straight thing.

    And Towleroad is off-base by calling the cartoon male’s walk “swishy.” That’s a pretty standard way of depicting a person walking.

  • Niall

    I agree with Shaq over this and I can’t understand the fuss it’s created. As most guys would tell you, it’s one of the most uncomfortable and awkward situations when a guy uses the urinal next to you, even if it’s at a gay bar, it’s still awkward.

  • the other Greg

    On “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Shaq declared that “Peanut butter is a dairy product,” so I’m not sure how seriously to take him.

  • Aidan8

    Is his post “homophobic?” Honestly? Is it? It has less to do with being homophobic than with simple etiquette and decency. Putting myself in a straight-guy’s shoes… I don’t want some guy cruising me at a urinal… it’s not that complicated really. In fact, as a gay man I don’t want some guy cruising me at a urinal. Get a fucking life and learn how to meet other men in places other than bathrooms and truck-stops.

  • Fidelio

    @Modernliving3: I was at the gym recently on a slow day when all the treadmills were open. This dude decides to run on the treadmill right to mine. Awkward. So you can imagine how awkward I believe is this hypothetical urinal situation. However, I agree with you regarding the PURPPOSE in posting it. For what? To get a laugh at gay people’s expense? I think it’s going to be a long road before people understand that ANY negative gay stereotype is NOT ok. It would be like allowing the use of the word “fag”, but only if you’re referencing someone super, super gay. WTF, right? Shaq may have done gay advocacy work previously, but it kinda cancels out when he starts garnering more attention for homophobic missteps.

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