Retired NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has formally come out against vaccine mandates, telling the co-hosts of his podcast that “you shouldn’t be forced to take something you don’t want.”
O’Neal revealed his position during a discussion Thursday on “The Big Podcast with Shaq” about the two nurses who are facing prosecution for having sold $1.5 million worth of fake COVID vaccine cards.
“Don’t send them to jail,” he told his co-hosts, “Entertainment Tonight” (ET) host Nischelle Turner and former NFL player turned TV show host Anthony “Spice Adams.”
To explain why not, he then imaged a scenario.
“OK, I’m probably going to get in trouble for this, but let’s just say, Nischelle, that your sound guy at ET — been working there 10 years, that’s all you know, you don’t bother nobody, you come and do your work every day, you go to work, and then when you go home, you have your beliefs,” he said.
“Let’s just say ET puts out a new policy — you don’t get your vaccination, you lose your job. The sound guy who’s been working there for 15 years now has a decision to make. I don’t want to go against my morals, I can’t, I don’t want to do it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
This is a choice that millions of Americans have had to face.
Mayo Clinic fires 700 unvaxxed staff as Biden vows to deploy 1,000 troops to ‘Covid-burdened hospitals’ https://t.co/dOAcHP2g0Q
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 6, 2022
But thanks to the two nurses, some Americans were able to skirt by. And in the scenario created by O’Neal, the sound guy would have been one of them.
In other words, the nurses wouldn’t be hurting or disrespecting the sound guy by selling him fake COVID vaccine cards — they’d be doing him a favor and saving his job, ergo why they don’t deserve to be prosecuted.
This surprising stance has earned the NBA legend a great deal of fanfare from vaccine mandate opponents. Conversely, it’s triggered the usual howls of rage from COVID zealots, including from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s notorious eldest daughter, Christine.
Known for her far-left activism, the younger Pelosi uploaded a screenshot of the COVID policies for Shaq’s Fun House and used the screenshot to mock O’Neal’s supporters and suggest that he’s a hypocrite.
All the #antivaxxers cheering @SHAQ for opposing vaccine mandates will be very unhappy when they’re “forced” to get a COVID vaccine to attend his Fun House Super Bowl Party. 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/dYuQZ1ta5a pic.twitter.com/6hJp07SgcA
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) February 4, 2022
Shaq’s Fun House is an annual event in which O’Neal hosts a carnival-like party in whichever city is poised to hold the Super Bowl. This year’s event will be held in Los Angeles, a far-left city with some of the most restrictive COVID policies in the nation.
O’Neal’s defenders responded to Pelosi’s post by pointing out that, one, he likely had no say in the matter, and two, not being able to attend a party is not remotely equivalent to losing one’s livelihood.
@sfpelosi before saying #antivaxxers are cheering @SHAQ and sharing what’s required to attended his Fun House Super Bowl Party. You might have forgot a bit of other information, many events across the US have their own requirements for their city or state or did you forget this?
— Leslie-Ann Reher (@AnnReher) February 4, 2022
Going to a birthday party, and losing the ability to feed your family are two different things. Shaq is right. You are wrong. Vaccine Mandates are “forced” and they are totalitarian. Thanks for playing liberal excuse bingo though. Bye woosy
— Matt Holloman (@MattHolloman) February 4, 2022
It’s a party 😂, not a job. Moreover, I can guarantee that he didn’t make the rules; the sponsor did.
— Holden Caulfield 🇭🇹 (@CanteevS) February 4, 2022
Over on O’Neal’s podcast meanwhile, his co-hosts immediately pushed back on his defense of the two nurses.
Nischelle, in particular, argued that people aren’t being “forced” to get vaccinated — that they have a choice in the matter.
“I don’t think people are being forced. … Where I wholeheartedly disagree with you on this issue is you’re not just affecting yourself. you’re putting the public at risk, and it’s a public health issue,” she said.
“You work for a private company, bro. We’re a capitalist society. It’s a free market society. If you don’t want to follow that company’s policy, then you follow yourself on out the door.”
O’Neal conceded her point but stressed that he still feels sympathy for those affected by vaccine mandates.
“I’m with you on the rules because I’m a rules guy, but I do feel sympathetic towards people who have to make that kind of decision,” he said.
“I don’t, not when you’re putting other people at risk,” Turner promptly replied.
“My point is don’t walk around with a fake vaccination card. acting like you following the rules and acting like you doing this and that, and you out here putting people at risk. Not cool.”
To this day, it remains unclear how unvaccinated Americans put anybody else at risk given as the coronavirus — particularly the Omicron variant — can still be contracted and spread by those who are vaccinated …
Given the fact that even if you get vaccinated & get not 1, not 2, but 3 boosters, you can still get COVID & spread it to other people, it makes no sense for the government or companies to hassle people that aren’t vaccinated. Worst case scenario, they’re only hurting themselves.
— John Hawkins (@johnhawkinsrwn) January 30, 2022
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