Fortunately, I don’t listen to overpaid athletes’ opinions on physics

Shaquille O’Neal said some incredibly stupid things five years ago, claiming to believe the Earth is flat. Those stories died down a while ago — I suspect a publicist took him aside and explained “Ouyay oundsay ikelay anyay idiotyay, ixnay ethay atflay earthyay BS” — but it has flared up again with recent remarks on a podcast.

The NBA legend, 50, was asked during an appearance on The Kyle & Jackie O Show if his former comments about the conspiracy theory were a “joke” or if he did, in fact, believe the notion to be true.

“It’s a theory,” O’Neal told hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson. “It’s just a theory, they teach us a lot of things. It’s just a theory,” he repeated.

“I flew 20 hours today, not once did I go this way,” O’Neal said, noting he “didn’t tip over” or “go upside down.” He added that he’s also unsure about whether the planet is spinning.

It’s OK. If you don’t mind that I’ll forever after disregard everything you say about anything, just announce that you believe the earth is flat, or only 6000 years old, and I’ll happily file you away in my mental bin labeled “bollocks”. That stuff is so stupid that O’Neal might convince me that basketball must be imaginary.


  1. larpar says

    Give Shaq a break. He’s 7’1″. The air is thinner up there. Not enough oxygen for his brain.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Speaking of athletes I don’t trust
    The Saudi strangler & dismember prince has bought up Newcastle football club to do “sportswashing”, investing ridicilous amounts of money in recruiting football players.
    As I recall the struggle against apartheid, I suggest we take the song “I ain’t gonnna play in Sun City” and change the place name to “Newcastle “.

  3. Walter Solomon says

    Perhaps someone can demonstrate to him how gravity works by showing him an ant walking across a basketball. The ant doesn’t “tip over” either.

    And, Shaq, if your at the South Pole, you’re “upside down.” It doesn’t feel or look that way because gravity is pulling your feet toward the Earth and everything else is also “upside down.” I’m sure his mind would be blown.

  4. KG says

    It depends on the physicist. But it’s no worse than a lot of the crapola you come out with.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    I am a furriner, I can decode everything except ixnay. “Nix”? Followed by ‘the flat earth BS’ .

  6. pilgham says

    Flat earthers, or flerfs for short, are the most useless creatures on the planet.When you combine all the things they deny, all the things they ignore and all the things they get wrong, you’ve pretty much summed up the whole of human knowledge.

  7. Owlmirror says


    I am a furriner, I can decode everything except ixnay. “Nix”?

    Oh, “nix” is a perfectly cromulent word, albeit one rarely used. For whatever reason, it’s better known in its Pig Latin form. Ah, Wikt:ixnay actually says:

    possibly the only Pig Latin phrase to enter common American English besides amscray. Ixnay and amscray were used widely in The Three Stooges shorts, possibly the main source of popularity for the words.

    I’m pretty sure I heard “amscray” from Bugs Bunny when I was younger. The Three Stooges never really appealed to me, but it could well have gone from the Stooges to various cartoons.

  8. John Morales says

    OTOH, in Australian news:

    The Prime Minister has enlisted the support of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal in calling for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians and a Voice to Parliament.

    Anthony Albanese praised O’Neal after meeting with the basketball great in Sydney on Saturday morning, highlighting his work “in the United States about social justice and lifting people up who are marginalised”.

  9. John Morales says


    Speaking of well-paid athletes,

    After another monster year of earnings, totaling $121.2 million before taxes and agents’ fees over the last 12 months, Forbes estimates that James has officially become a billionaire while still playing hoops.

    The 37-year-old superstar has a net worth of $1 billion, by Forbes’ count. James, who missed the playoffs this year for just the fourth time in 19 seasons, is the first active NBA player to make the billionaires list. (Michael Jordan, the only other basketball billionaire, didn’t hit ten figures until 2014, more than a decade after he retired, thanks to a well-timed investment in the Charlotte Hornets basketball team.)

    “It’s my biggest milestone,” James told GQ in a prophetic 2014 interview. “Obviously. I want to maximize my business. And if I happen to get it, if I happen to be a billion-dollar athlete, ho. Hip hip hooray! Oh, my God, I’m gonna be excited.”

    (So exciting!)

  10. hemidactylus says

    @16- John Morales

    Thanks for that more uplifting take on Shaq Fu.

    I do have a personal subjective take on him as he was key in bringing success to the fledgling Orlando Magic long before the Dwight Howard era. Shaq greatly disappointed me by leaving. I didn’t mean to diminish his rapping on the Fu-Schnickens song. It was kinda weird how his presence sold the song though given a marginal role. More like a cameo. He got in a bit of hot water by employing his rap skills in a diss on Kobe Bryant.

    ”Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the Phoenix Suns center’s use of a racially derogatory word and other foul language left him no choice. Arpaio made Shaq a special deputy in 2006 and promoted him to colonel of his largely ceremonial posse later that year.

    “I want his two badges back,” Arpaio told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “Because if any one of my deputies did something like this, they’re fired. I don’t condone this type of racial conduct.””

    Wait Joe Arpaio?

    “At two press conferences held in March 2012, Arpaio and members of his Cold Case Posse claimed that President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate, released by the White House on April 27, 2011,[199] is a computer-generated forgery. The Posse also claimed that Obama’s Selective Service card was a forgery.[200][201] The allegations regarding the birth certificate were repeated at a July 2012 news conference in which Arpaio stated that Obama’s long-form birth certificate was “definitely fraudulent.”[202]… On August 25, 2017, President Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio for his conviction for criminal contempt of court, a decision that provoked considerable controversy.[217][218][219] The pardon covers Arpaio’s conviction and “any other offenses under Chapter 21 of Title 18, United States Code that might arise, or be charged, in connection with Melendres v. Arpaio.”[220]

    Shaq makes your PM look tiny.

  11. John Morales says

    Shaq makes your PM look tiny.

    And everyone else, too. A bit like Gandalf and Frodo in the movie.