Former NBA superstar (and sure-to-be Hall of Famer) Shaquille O'Neal has recoreded a short video (watch after the jump) against bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. Shaq looks like he's put on a couple pounds since retirement, but he also speaks with more inflection than usual; Somebody's doing good work with him on his speech. The Big Diesel says in the PSA:
Millions of gay and transgender youth are made to feel like they don't fit in every day. ... We've all been hurt by words before. So before you speak, think about how your words might affect someone else.
This isn't much of a surprise. Shaq spoke very positively about a gay teammate when John Amaechi came out in 2007:
I was always taught as a youngster to never judge people, so I never judge people and to each their own. If he was my teammate and people ridiculed him and jumped on him, I would probably have to protect him.
The NBA and American Federation of Teachers teamed up with GLAAD to produce the video. Hopefully the people who need to hear the message will see the video. Shaq's street cred is high - he's just the kind of guy who can have an impact on homophobic language.
If only Kobe Bryant had seen the video last March....