Shaq Triggers Co-Hosts by Backing Deion Sanders' Pro-Family Values Recruiting Strategy: 'He's Spitting the Truth'
Time and time again, it has been proved that the best environment for a child to grow up in includes both a mother and a father.
To be clear, the above statement of fact is not to imply that people who come from single-parent households can’t succeed or thrive just as much as people raised in dual-parent households.
Still, it shouldn’t be controversial to speak the truth about the optimal situation for a child.
Unfortunately, however, facts are not welcome in the absurdist world in which NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has found himself.
O’Neal, the jovial and outspoken Hall of Famer, came to the defense of University of Colorado football coach Deion Sanders after the latter was attacked over his comments about how he views the parenting factor in recruiting different positions.
Sanders, speaking with NFL pundit and host Rich Eisen during Super Bowl week, discussed what kind of household he wants his quarterbacks to come from.
“Quarterbacks are different. We want mother-father, dual parents,” he said on “The Rich Eisen Podcast.” “We want the kid to be 3.5 [GPA] and up, because he’s got to be smart. [No] bad decisions off the field, at all, because he has to be a leader of men.”
Sanders then joked that he preferred his defensive linemen to come from single-parent households because they are hungrier to get out of poverty and “rescue Mama.”
Those innocuous comments set off a maelstrom of controversy, with social media users lambasting the former NFL star.
That controversy spilled over into O’Neal’s “The Big Podcast,” where his co-hosts seemed completely taken aback that Shaq agreed with Sanders.
After recapping Sanders’ remarks, co-host Nischelle Turner let out an audible sigh, obviously disagreeing with him. That’s when O’Neal jumped in.
“Ain’t nothing wrong with that,” he said.
Turner could only muster a “whoa” in response to that before O’Neal elaborated.
“Ain’t nothing wrong with what he said,” Shaq said, doubling down.
When told to state his case, O’Neal used himself as an example.
“You know why I have discipline?” he asked. “You know why I don’t get in trouble? You know why I don’t do dumb s***? Daddy would’ve whooped my a**.
“Lot of kids don’t have that.”
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
O’Neal then expressed admiration for hard-working single mothers while noting that because of that hard work, it’s a struggle for many to be a role model for their kids due to availability (O’Neal lamented children having to grow up “on their own.”)
“Studies show, statistics show that just how it is,” O’Neal said.
The four-time NBA champion then explained how the quarterback, as Sanders described, needs to be able to process and follow orders. “The kid listens,” he said.
For the most part, processing and following orders is a trait that is either hammered in at a young age or never cultivated at all. That is why Sanders views recruiting a quarterback from a two-parent household as preferable.
Shaq also said he, like Sanders, would want his defensive linemen to be “hard.” That drew another “whoa,” this time from the other co-host, Spice Adams.
Now, of course, Sanders and O’Neal are painting with the broadest of strokes. Assuredly, single-parent households can produce incredibly well-behaved and well-adjusted people, just as much as a two-parent household can produce a screeching miscreant.
But just because that’s true doesn’t mean it’s the rule. It’s very much the exception.
“He’s spitting the truth, he’s spitting the facts,” O’Neal said of Sanders’ assessment.
The NBA legend, who has never had a problem with speaking his mind, continues to be a breath of fresh air when it comes to retired pro athletes.
Standing up for the logical and correct notion that there are advantages to growing up in a two-parent household is just the latest example of that.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.