The story started with a call to the local police in Gainesville, Florida, when a neighbour filed a noise complaint about a group of kids playing basketball on the street. Once on the scene, police officer Bobby White decided to diffuse the situation in an unconventional way by joining in on the ongoing basketball game.
Video of this went viral, as the world quickly embraced a story that re-humanized the potential relationship that could exist between civilians and cops. (This exact topic is something that Joe and I spoke about on a recent episode of These Guys in relation to the series Making A Murderer – watch it HERE.)
One individual that also caught wind of the story was NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, who decided to take the situation into his own hands by creating an epic rematch. Shaq not only joined in on the local game of the sport he loves, shelling out $800 in the process after offering them each $100 if they could make a foul shot, but he also left them all with a message to think about. Check it out:
While many may argue that this event is merely a publicity stunt, and that Shaquille O’Neal may have some questionable connections, I’d instead like to focus on the message he delivered to the kids. Reminders such as:
- The importance of respecting your peers and loved ones
- Being a leader and not a follower
- Empowering yourself to accomplish and be anything you want to be in this world no matter your circumstance
Each of these messages offer something that we could all use a reminder of regularly, so I urge you all to focus on this element of the story rather than who it involves.
I personally feel that the great extent to which we idolize celebrity figures is unfortunate in this world, but for however long that remains to be the case, it is incredibly important that more of them step up and use their influence to spread a positive message.
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