Shaq: ‘I plan on running for sheriff’
Shaquille O’Neal plans to run for sheriff, but he isn’t saying where yet.
“In 2020, I plan on running for sheriff,” the basketball legend better known as “Shaq” told the NBC affiliate station in Atlanta.
“This is not about politics for me,” he added. “This is something I always wanted to do. It’s about bringing people closer together. You know, when I was coming up, people loved and respected the police, the deputies. And, I want to be the one to bring that back, especially in the community I serve.”
Shaq is eligible to run for sheriff in Henry County, Ga. He also has residency in Florida, as well as time before the 2020 election to establish residency somewhere else.
“I haven’t made up my mind yet,” he says.
The Hall of Famer, who played for six different NBA teams, said his versatility in connecting with people from different walks of life is one of the strengths he would bring to the police community.
“I’m a guy who speaks all languages. I can throw on a suit and have a conversation with Bill Gates,” Shaq said, according to the NBC station. Or “I can go in the hood and talk to the homies, and talk to the children.”
He offered a campaign slogan: “Shaq for Sheriff. Back to the old school.”
Shaq has pursued a secondary career in law enforcement since retiring from the NBA in 2011. Most recently, he was sworn in as a deputy in the Atlanta suburbs last December.
Shaq has also taken on various roles as a reserve police officer in Florida, Los Angeles and Arizona, all places where he played during his basketball career.