As celebrities continue to push for people to vote in one of the most important elections ever, one NBA great isn’t afraid to be extremely blunt about exercising his civic duty.
Shaquille O’Neal is a 4-time NBA Champ, 3-time NBA Finals MVP, and is a 15-time All-Star. But one thing not on his list of accomplishments is a voter. Though 48-years-old –which means he’s had at least 5 chances to get to the ballots– he recently admitted on his “The Big Podcast With Shaq” that he’s never actually done the deed. However, he understands how vital the 2020 Presidential election is and plans to exercise his right.
He went on to say that, like many other Americans, he did it via absentee ballot, and with being so involved in campaign pushes, he felt like it was the right thing to do. He’s part of the #MyStartingFive challenge, which helps people register to vote in the 2020 election.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession. You know I always like being honest on my podcast. I’ve never voted before, America,” he admitted. “But now I’m doing all these voting campaigns, and you know one thing I never like to do is be a hypocrite. So the other day, I got my absentee ballot. … In other words America, I voted for the first time, and it feels good.”
NBA players not voting shouldn’t be too surprising given their hectic schedules and constant traveling. Even though they could all fill out absentee ballots, it’s worth noting that only 20% of eligible NBA players voted in the 2016 election.
With NBA voter turnout so low, Chris Paul and the NBPA made it a mission to more players registered and has since announced that “over 90 percent” of the league has been registered, including 15 teams that got all their players on board.