After almost 20 years as a big man in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal is a big man off the court, too.
The NBA champion and former MVP has a national reputation as a vocal supporter of law enforcement, with posts as a reserve deputy or honorary police officer in jurisdictions around the country.
Now, with a Georgia police officer in critical condition after a shooting last week, O’Neal is putting his money where his mouth is. Maybe some other NBA figures could learn a lesson.
According to ABC News, O’Neal has put up $5,000 of a $30,000 reward being offered by the Henry County, Georgia, police department for the suspected gunman who shot Officer Paramhans Desai when Desai responded to a domestic dispute Thursday.
The Henry County Police Department said 38-year-old Officer Paramhans Desai, a 17-year law enforcement veteran, was shot by 22-year-old Jordan Jackson while responding to a 911 call on Keys Ferry Road in McDonough. https://t.co/56a9e1Q3vC
— FOX 5 Atlanta (@FOX5Atlanta) November 6, 2021
A Facebook post by the Henry County Police Department identified the alleged gunman as Jordan Jackson, 22.
Since the shooting, Jackson has been sought for aggravated assault and is considered “armed & dangerous,” the post said.
From the sound of things, Henry County Sheriff Reginald Scandrett and his department are pretty dangerous, too.
“Let me be crystal clear, we certainly will not tolerate any individual, regardless of who you are, coming to what we consider to be God’s country of Henry County and harming any of our police officers in any kind of way,” Scandrett said during a news conference Friday, according to WXIA-TV.
“So, Mr. Jackson, whatever hole you’re in, I assure you we’re coming to find you, we will place you in custody and we will bring you to justice.”
To some extent, that “we” includes O’Neal, who took a post as the Henry County Police Department’s director of community relations in March.
Shaquille O’Neal contributes to $30,000 reward to find suspect who shot Georgia police officer https://t.co/tfcb2kcLp7
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 8, 2021
There’s no denying that O’Neal’s law enforcement ties make him a refreshing change in a sports culture — the NBA in particular — where the leftist loathing for police and deputies has become part of the social fabric.
A much more familiar face and tone is the Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, a man who is more likely to threaten a police officer for doing his job than contribute one dime of his wealth toward finding the gunman who almost killed a cop.
This is the league, remember, where the players boycotted playoff games last year to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin — a shooting that not even Joe Biden’s Justice Department could find a problem with.
(The officer involved was not disciplined by the Kenosha Police Department nor charged by the Kenosha district attorney, but the NBA players were positive an injustice had occurred.)
But O’Neal, like fellow former NBA great Charles Barkley, is different.
And O’Neal’s fans know it.
Shaquille, you are such a giving person I’ve watched all the things you have done to help kids, people that are hungry, I wish you their where more people like you in this world. Thank you for all you have done and many prayers for you and your family
— Cindy (@Cindy39111397) November 8, 2021
Oh no the left will cancel him now.
— tom higgins (@tomhigg11485647) November 8, 2021
A real man of the people. Unlike that fraud @KingJames
— Carlos Danger (@CarlosD48575102) November 8, 2021
James and the other cop-haters in the NBA and the sports and celebrity worlds in general might get the most attention, like Democratic cop-haters in politics get the most mainstream media coverage, but sane Americans understand the role cops play in keeping the peace.
Shaq understands it, too, just like he understands how to handle blowhards like LeBron James.
And, basketball aside, that makes him a bigger man than any of those lefties will ever be.
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