Shaquille O’Neal Announces His Retirement As A Celebrity For The Sweetest Reason

by : Hannah Smith on : 27 Sep 2021 15:50
Shaquille O'Neal Announces His Retirement As A Celebrity For The Sweetest ReasonAlamy

Shaquille O’Neal has said he’s ‘done’ with being a celebrity, and hopes that people will instead remember him for just being a ‘nice guy’.

He’s one of the most instantly recognisable basketball players on Earth, but according to Shaq, fame isn’t worth all that much to him, with the star revealing this week that he wanted people to quit treating him like a celebrity.


‘These celebrities are going freaking crazy and I don’t want to be one. I denounce my celebrity-ness today. I’m done with it,’ Shaq said, explaining that he’s seen the way some famous people behave, and doesn’t want anything to do with it.

Shaq says he's denouncing his 'celebrity-ness' (Alamy)Alamy

He told the New York Post:

I don’t want to be in that category. Celebrities are crazy, they really are. Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.

All my life, everyone probably gets stereotyped, but us celebrities, we get stereotyped because most of these celebrities are out of their mind. I don’t do that. I’m a regular person that listened, followed his dreams and made it.


The Lakers icon has been ever-present in the media since retiring from basketball in 2011, but says he’s most proud of the work he’s done away from the spotlight, through his multiple charity endeavours and ‘random acts of kindness’.

It’s these actions that he wants people to focus on going forward, with Shaq explaining that he hates the idea of being put on a pedestal as a result of his wealth and celebrity status, and would rather be praised for simply being a good human being.

Shaquille O'Neal (Alamy)Alamy

‘I came from nothing, but just because I made it doesn’t mean I’m bigger than you, smarter than you – just because I have more money doesn’t mean I’m better than you. I’ve never been that way and I never will be that way. So I don’t want to be in that category of people,’ he said.


‘When they talk about Shaq, what do you say? ‘He’s a nice guy.’ Because what else can you be? You’re either nice or you’re the A-word, and I definitely won’t be looked at as the A-word.’

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: Celebrity, Now, Sport


New York Post
  1. New York Post

    Shaq is retiring from celebrity status: ‘Out of their mind’