NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal announced his intention to run for sheriff in Henry County, Ga., in 2020 during an interview Thursday at Live! Casino & Hotel.
After signing an extension with TNT, which is based in Atlanta, O’Neal decided to abandon hope of running for office in his hometown of Orlando, Fl. He announced in an interview with an NBC Atlanta affiliate that he planned on running for sheriff in his home of Henry Co.
“I don’t think I could be sheriff in Florida and work in Atlanta,” O’Neal said. “So I bought a house in Atlanta, and I’m going to be in Atlanta full time, so it’s like, let me try here first, and maybe when it’s all said and done, I could go back and be the sheriff in Florida.”
Far from a publicity stunt, O’Neal has identified the core issues that made him interested in holding office.
“It’s just a disconnect between people and police,” said O’Neal “that I haven’t seen in a long time.”
Accountability and respect between police and citizens are likely to be O’Neal’s core platform.
“[Police officers] were well-respected in the neighborhood,” argued O’Neal, “and the disconnect has gotten to be out of control and I want to be one of the guys that closes it.”