NBA all-star Shaquille O’Neal announced his plans to run for sheriff in 2020 as he discussed his potential political ambitions in an interview Friday.
Shaq dropped a bombshell during an interview with WXIA after he denied that he had any ambitions to run for mayor of Atlanta and said, “In 2020, I plan on running for sheriff.”
Shaq explained that his decision to run for the position was not a political one, but rather a way to promote a positive image for law enforcement.
“This is not about politics. This is about bringing people closer together,” Shaq said. “You know, when I was coming up, people love [sic] and respected the police, the deputies. And, I want to be the one to bring that back, especially in the community I serve.”
Shaq said he would be an ideal match for the job because he can have a conversation with anyone.
“I can put on a suit and have a conversation with Bill Gates. I can go in the hood and talk to the homies, and talk to the children,” he added.
Shaq had dropped hints that he would run for sheriff as far back as 2015, when he appeared on Fox News Channel’s On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.
It is not clear where the former NBA star will run, but he could run in Henry County, Georgia ,where he currently resides. The incumbent sheriff in Henry County is up for re-election in 2020. He could also run in Florida, where he has established residency.
Shaq could also move somewhere else between now and 2020 and establish residency, as 2020 is still three years away.
Although Shaq was sworn in as an honorary deputy in Clayton County in December, he does not have much real law enforcement experience.
However, he has served as a reserve police officer in Miami, Los Angeles, Tempe in Arizona, Golden Beach, and Doral, according to the Miami Herald.
Shaq said he would make up for his lack of experience because he knows how to build a team.
“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,” he said.