NBA player Shaquille O’Neal has commercial pulled by network after complaints of defamation against gays.
A commercial featuring Shaq, which was created to promote the NBA and ESPN, has been pulled and will not air due to multiple complaints from gay and lesbian groups.
In the commercial, Shaq is offered a fist bump from one of the ESPN commentators. After the offer, Shaq responds, “No fist kiss, no fist love, no fist hump. None of that. You’re a weirdo man. Stay over there … fist kiss … disgusting.”
The GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) blasted the ad and ESPN has since apologized, but the damage was done. Says one GLAAD member, “They knew what they were doing and if we don’t stand up for ourselves they will continue to disrespect our lifestyle. Sometimes ’sorry’ just isn’t enough.”
No word from Shaq yet, but the NBA and ESPN summoned their PR machine and referenced several articles where O’Neal advocated for gay rights including the time he stated he would “protect a gay teammate”.