Retired NBA superstar, Shaquille O'Neal, has announced that he is running for sheriff in 2020. Shaq's announcement follows a history of support for law enforcement.
In an interview with NBC 11, a photojournalist asked Shaq if he would run for mayor. “Mayor no, I would never run for mayor," he said. "In 2020, I plan on running for Sheriff.”
Apparently, he's serious. Shaquille O'Neal actually has a long history with law enforcement.
Shaq has previously graduated the Los Angeles County Sheriff's reserve academy, he then became a reserve officer with the Los Angeles Port Police Department. In 2005, he was made an honorary U.S. Deputy Marshall and given an honorary role in a task force that tracks down sexual predators. He also spent time volunteering with the Tempe Police Department.
Later in 2005, Shaq became a Miami Beach reserve officer. In 2006, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio appointed Shaq as a "Captain" of his posse as a "special deputy." Sheriff Joe later revoked Shaq's status and demanded a return of his badges after the basketball star was in a rap video using inappropriate language.
In 2015 he was sworn in as a reserve police officer in Doral, Florida, and in December 2016, he was sworn in as a sheriff's deputy in Clayton County, Georgia.
Outside of his experience with law enforcement, he continued to serve law enforcement by buying a Krispy Kreme in downtown Atlanta to prevent it from being shut down.
Explaining his decision to run for sheriff he said, "“This is not about politics. This is about bringing people closer together. You know, when I was coming up, people love and respected the police, the deputies. And, I want to be the one to bring that back, especially in the community I serve.”
Shaquille O'Neal hasn't announced where he plans to run for sheriff. It appears that he would be eligible to run in Henry County, Florida but he also maintains residency in Georgia.
Shaq said he will lean on an experienced team, if elected, “I know how to run a team. My style is going to be to surround myself with guys who have been doing it way longer than I’ve been doing it. Surround myself with smarter people.”