Source: Steve Watson

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal publicly declared Thursday that in his opinion no one “should be forced” to take a vaccine, and hit back at a reporter who claimed that Americans are not being made to take shots.

Speaking on his podcast, Shaq said “Look, I encourage everyone to be safe and take care of your family; I do. But there are still some people that don’t want to take it. And you shouldn’t have to be forced to take something you don’t want.”

When his CBS reporter guest Nischelle Turner tried to argue that vaccine mandates do not constitute forcing people to take the shots, O’Neal disagreed.

“It is forced. Because if the man don’t take it, the man gonna get fired,” he shot back.


“I’m gonna probably get in trouble for this,” O’Neal added, suggesting a hypothetical situation where a fictional co-worker of “Entertainment Tonight” co-host Turner is ordered to get vaccinated.

Shaq stated “Say Nischelle, your sound guy at ‘ET’ been working there 10 years. That [job is] all you know. Let’s just say ‘ET’ puts out a new policy: If you don’t get the vaccination, you’re going to lose your job,” O’Neal said, adding that he believes it is not just for people to have choose between their livelihoods and “going against [their] morals”.

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Turner said she “wholeheartedly disagrees” with O’Neal, stating “You’re not just affecting yourself, you’re putting the public at risk and it’s a public health issue.”

“You work for a private company, bro,” Turner asserted, adding “We’re a capitalist society. It’s a free market society. If you don’t want to follow that company’s policy, then you follow yourself on out the door.”

“I’m with you on the rules because I’m a rules guy,” O’Neal responded, adding “But I do feel sympathetic towards people who have to make that kind of decision.” 

“I don’t,” Turner replied “not when you’re putting other people at risk.”