Should Shaq Apologize For Homophobic Ad?

ANSWER THIS — So, there aren’t too many NBA stars out there who have assisted the police in catching homophobes who assault gay people, but Shaquille O’Neil took a step backward by agreeing to appear in an ESPN ad that showed him having a gay panic attack after his bro’ asks him for a “fist kiss” after scoring a shot. ESPN has taken down the ad and apologized, but the basketball star’s been silent. Does he owe the gay community an apology? Watch the unfunny ad after the jump.

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  • alan brickman

    there’s nothing to apologize for…..

  • Jaroslaw

    Alan – I don’t know why it is called a “fist kiss” but I assume it is bumping knuckles together. Yes, absolutely an apology is in order. If Shaq thinks it’s a bit “sissy” to call it a “kiss” fine. Then to say “it is disgusting”, move further away, and tell the other guy to “stay over there” – well, if all that isn’t homophobic, what is?

  • kevin

    No. It was a stupid commercial, but Shaq’s not a homophobe.

  • alan brickman

    Jaroslav’s a hippocrite…like gays never say anything inappropiately???

  • Smokey Martini

    For the sake of those who were offended, I say an apology is in order. But if Phelps was made to apologize for being caught smoking pot – as harmless as it may be – then I totally say Shaq should apologize because of the larger implications in the ad.

  • David Hauslaib

    @Smokey Martini: Michael Phelps apologized to save his sponsorship deals. Because drugs are universally bad, he must admit wrongdoing. But with Shaq, who also has any number of multimillion dollar endorsement deals, he only stands accused of insulting the gays, a far lesser charge (in America’s eyes) than drugs. He could do just fine with his sponsors if he remained quiet.

  • Bruce

    I wasn’t offended, he works in sports and we are likely to change the sporting worlds view of gays as much as the Mormon church view on gays. He’s out to make money (shock and surprise), and the guy was a little weird, I don’t like hand lovers myself.

  • DS

    The ad was stupid. If he should be sorry for anything it should be for taking part in a pointless advertisement and wasting 30 seconds of the viewer’s time. I am getting sick and tired of my bitchy brethren taking offense at every little thing that might even remotely be perceived as homophobic. Don’t you have something better to do, like go to the gym?

  • Jaroslaw

    Alan – Do you know what the word hypocrite means? If so, let me know how my comments make me one. I said to call something disgusting, move away as if that person is contaminated etc. is very homophobic. If a Gay guy says something inappropriate then he should apologize too.

  • An Other Greek

    Shaq is a friend to the gay community (look it up)

    the real culprit is not him, and possibly not even ESPN…

    The real fault lies in the AD AGENCY that made this. THEY KNEW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE DOING…

    they are the ones that need to be held accountable…


  • Darth Paul

    @DS: WORD.

  • Jaroslaw

    I never said this was the worst thing that ever happened and I’m not hypersensitive. If someone said something YOU did was disgusting, moved away from you as if you had ebola and told you to stay put you’d think it was pretty unkind.

    Or do you tell your friends they’re contaminated and disgusting all the time? interesting dynamic if you do.

  • Mister C

    Shaq has not had sh^t to do with this. The one to blame s ESPN and Madison Ave who actually put the ad together. Shaq just collected a check.

  • Michael vdB

    I just think the commercial itself was pointless, tasteless, and just stupid. Should Shaq apologize? I don’t think so. I agree that ESPN should fire its marketing staff because seriously…”fist kiss?” WTF?

  • alan brickman

    shaq’s record of support of gays should silence the controversy after all aren’t all gays guilty of saying some inappropiate?…

  • Z4t4

    Why is it Gays are more afraid of what they are then the rest of the world is? Like that 8 Maps site. Gay would the first to cry foul if it were the other way around…Then again, if it were the other way around they’d be screaming “This was a victory for democracy”. Until that same process doesn’t support their agenda. The other thing I find Ironic about Gays is that they don’t want to be called names like Fag and queer, yet, and true to form they want to isolate straight people has “homophobic”…Once again they show who they really are…Militant. That’s all. Trying to use the threat of either law or show up on one’s doorstep to protest. AMAZING how sick minds work huh? Just go home and hang out with your same sex lover. In fact I could care less until I’m told I HAVE TO ACCEPT their idea of “Marriage”. Which by the way, there is no law against a gay person Marrying someone…Just find another partner of the opposite sex and marry them TAH-DAH! Problems solved. You can still be gay.

  • Jaroslaw

    Mister C – come on! I’ve been on this blog for a long time now and mostly agree with you, but if something is in terrible taste, are you required to participate? Unless he is under contract to do anything and everything put before him, he should not have taken this assignment. Is he that desperate for money?

  • amajenn

    I don’t like forced apologies. They’re stomach-turning.

    Admittedly I know next to nothing about the personal life of O’Neil, but I do believe that defending his part in this commercial by pointing to the actions he took upon seeing a man assaulted goes into shaky territory.

    There’s probably not a man under the age of 40 who hasn’t been called a “fag” at some point in his life. Kids today use it like the children of my father’s generation used to use “Dirty Jap.” It’s an all-around insult directed at anyone regardless of known or suspected orientation. So O’Neil saw a guy hurl a bottle at a pedestrian whilst uttering an anti-gay slur before speeding off and we’re supposed to laud him as some sort of queer folk hero because he chased the assailant and alerted authorities?

    My money is on the probability that those two actions didn’t spring from a righteous indignation on behalf of a beloved gay community. Rather they came from his total hardon for cop work.

    I agree with those of you that have stated that this commercial is phobic. OBVIOUSLY so. O’Neil is not in a position that notes a desperation for the cash that this commercial would bring him. He knew what he was to say beforehand. He said it. He had his people cash the check from their people. Fin.

    And since we know O’Neil isn’t much of an actor, I doubt it was much of a stretch for him to ad lib “disgusting” into the mix. Seemed to come quite naturally, no?

    So he’s a public figure who’s disgusted by gays. So what? He could apologize all day and come off as nothing more than a pandering bigot.

    O’Neil, should he apologize, can ram said apology straight into his coal-colored ass for all I care. It would mean nothing.

  • Jaroslaw

    Amajenn – it is not a forced apology in the way you’re saying. Look at the posts here – Mr. C says “Shaq” had nothing to do with it. I’m saying unless he is under contract, he has responsibility for what he does. So if he had a lapse in judgement or whatever come clean about it; that’s what an “apology” is for – to be on record.

  • Mister C

    @ Jaroslaw

    I said that on the basis that there was no EXCLUSIVE contract with Shaq and ESPN. Madison Ave is really who constructed this ad.

    And @ Amajenn it takes two to be wrong and your comment that says:

    coal-colored ass

    We all know he’s a Black Male and with such a statement what’s the difference between an alleged homophobic commercial and an alleged racial slur?????

  • Jaroslaw

    Mister C – so as long as you get a check, and didn’t write it yourself, it doesn’t matter what you participate in?

  • blake

    I’ve changed my mind on this. David Hauslib is right. What if a sports figure in a commercial showed revulsion at seeing two Asians kiss?

    Shaq may be a frined of the gays but he erred here. He should have said that he thought that the script was wrong. Shaq is a millionaire, he could easily say no to something that he finds wrong and walk.

  • Jaroslaw


  • Mister C

    @ Jaroslaw it does matter, You’re right. Then if we’re going to shoot the responsibility clause then we need to make sure it’s made accountable even when GAYS do the same idiotic things! Don’t you agree?

  • getreal

    @Mister C: I found this on the hip-hop site bossip. Some douchebag made a homophobic remark and blacks came out of the wood work to defend gays, gay rights and Prop 8. There are a lot of people who are black and straight who did not think twice about gay rights or marriage equality who watched the marches after the Yes on Prop 8 vote and realized this is important and a civil rights issue and they are now vocal about their support. You have to scan down a little but read the comments on Prop 8 and know that we have support even where we think we don’t we are not alone in this fight.

  • Mister C

    Getreal, Blacks have always within the race supported the rights of Gays. Unfortuately when you get a few churches who stand and denounce Gay rights. That’s when everybody decided to go with it and then we were all considered HOMOPHOBIC. But things are changing and everybody is now taking a breather!

  • getreal


  • matt (the other other one)

    I thought it was more of a joking about how dumb macho straight guys act. I didn’t see anything homophobic in it. It was just a joke about how easy it is for straight guys to weird each other out I think the joke was at their expenses not the other way around.

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