There is a lot of civil unrest in America right now and no matter your opinions on the subject, we can all agree about the root issue: many of the racial divides that existed decades ago still exists today. While our country will never come to a solid conclusion on how to handle these racial tensions, understanding what it's like to be black in America can be a good place to start.
In a recent appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal gave a little insight on his experience.
“I have that talk with them all the time,” O’Neal said, via Caitlyn Holroyd of theScore. “I tell them, first of all, you have to try to diffuse the situation by showing respect because you have to understand that these people are also out here doing their job. So, you try to diffuse the situation. And if it happens to get rough, don’t say anything, don’t do anything. Just comply.
“And then, when all is said and done, you call me. And if stuff gets out of hand, then I will handle it. I will be the one to come down there and act crazy. I don’t want you to act crazy while you’re out there by yourself. So, I just try to tell them to just comply, to just listen.”
It's pretty solid advice from Shaq, but also kind of concerning that he has to preach such caution when interacting with an officer.
“I try to be real with them and to have certain conversations, but you know, from the videos I’ve seen with Mr. Floyd, he was complying,” he said.
There are good officers and when you resist arrest, you can expect retaliation. But it's all too often that black Americans are killed or hurt even when they seemingly do everything right. Something definitely needs to change.
But good on Shaq to recognize that, for a lot of law enforcement officers out there, they're just out there trying to do their jobs.