Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving is still feeling the blowback from posting a link to a documentary many describe as antisemitic. Not only was he suspended on Nov. 3 by the team, but Nike pulled the plug on the latest release of his signature shoe. The latter development came after Irving apologized.
But Black Twitter is wondering why the cancellation of Irving, and not that of National Basketball League legend Shaquille O’Neal who has partnered with the Papa John’s pizza chain, even though it was not that long ago the chain’s founder, John Schnatter, was caught saying the “N” word. Surely the partnering with O’Neal is part of the company’s image cleanup after the racist scandal, but Black America is pointing out the different reactions to antisemitic words and words considered anti-Black.
In July 2018, Schnatter participated in an internal training conference call with marketing consultants. During a role-playing exercise to help Schnatter avoid making remarks that could cause public controversy and damage the company’s reputation, Schnatter said, “Colonel Sanders called Blacks n***ers, and Sanders never faced public outcry.” Schnatter was forced to resign as chairman of Papa John’s, Forbes reported.
Then in March 2019, the company announced a partnership with O’Neal in which the former basketball player would join Papa John’s as a member of the company’s Board of Directors and as an investor in nine Papa John’s restaurants in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. In addition, O’Neal entered into a marketing agreement to be an ambassador for the Papa John’s brand, according to a press release.
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O’Neal hasn’t spoken about the Schnatter scandal, but has plenty to say about Irving and Kanye West, who say the cancellation of a number of business deals after he posted remarks on social media that were deemed antisemitic.
“It hurts me sometimes when we have to sit up here to talk about stuff that divides the game. That we gotta answer for what this idiot has done,” O’Neal said of Irving.
In other remarks Shaq called out West, saying he had “advice” for West.
O’Neal tweeted, “Worry about your business, and to quote the once great Kanye west [sic] ‘I got more money than you, so why would i listen to you. Take my advice get your family business in order. Have a great day brother.”
Now, Black America is calling out O’Neal for his Papa John’s deal.
“Shaq mad at Kyrie but backed up Papa John’s after he used the N word,” Juvy tweeted.
Others called out Shaq silence on the Schnatter scandal.
“Did Shaq go on tv & call the owner of Papa John’s names like he did Kyrie? Nope, he joined the company to line his own pockets. The fake morality from these peeps is comical,” asked R&B Maady.
R&B Maady continued in a thread, “Did he go at any of them like he responded to Kanye? Nope because he only has smoke for other Black people like most people do lol”
Some were outraged by Shaq’s actions and didn’t mince words.
“Oh… Say it ain’t so @SHAQ… You 7ft sellout MF. Tell me you didn’t go on national television and coon that hard about Kyrie with this movie and you own a theatre that showed the same film? I oughta slap your goofy ass. You ankle grabbing negroes make me sick,” Royce White tweeted.
In this Oct. 18, 2017, Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter (L) attends a meeting in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)/Shaquille O’Neal surprises community member in Atlanta aboard his “Back to School Bus” to inform them about the Papa Johns Dough & Degrees program on July 22, 2022, in Atlanta. (Todd Kirkland/AP Images for Papa John’s)/pizza box, Facebook, https://m.facebook.com/PapaJohnsPhil/photos/a.775261195850784/4145116552198548/?type=3