Shaq speaks out against binge drinking

Whitney Waters | Contributor

WASHINGTON — Retired NBA All-Star Shaquille O’Neal spoke out against binge drinking and overconsumption of alcohol on the black college campuses Wednesday.

In 2012, the rapper, television analyst and recent film-school graduate joined the Century Council, a non-profit organization that fights against underage and binge drinking, launching a campaign to raise awareness on historically black colleges and universities using unorthodox methods.

“Social media and comedy was the best way to get to these guys,” said O’Neal, at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 43rd annual legislative conference Wednesday.

He presented a study completed last year by Morgan State University that showed the consumption and attitude of college students at historically black colleges and universities toward binge drinking.

According to the findings, 42 percent of people 12 and older perceive binge drinking as a great risk, and 17 percent of 20- to 22-year-olds report binge drinking in the past month.

He emphasized the need to inform college students of the dangers of overconsumption and of how to drink responsibly. The best messenger for that campaign, he said, is students themselves.

“We need to have the voice of the students speak,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal discussed the idea of creating a campaign through the council that would allow students to create different programs and events to educate students and offer other alternatives to drinking.

“In this world that we live in, everybody is different [in the way they consume media], but the message is always the same,” said O’Neal.

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