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Shaquille O’Neal explains the story behind his ‘Tiger King’ cameo

For The Win logo For The Win 3/30/2020 Charles Curtis

Shaquille O'Neal wearing a suit and tie: Getty © Getty Getty Let me just get this out of the way: I am one of about 10 people or so who still hasn't seen Tiger King, the Netflix true crime series about a big cat preserve owned by a dude nicknamed "Joe Exotic" that has become a social media sensation.

I know, I know. I've had other stuff to catch up on from this list of Netflix originals … but I'm burying the lede here. Although I haven't seen it for myself, I saw that Shaquille O'Neal made a cameo, and from what I can tell, maybe being associated with Joe Exotic probably isn't the best thing.

Shaq has appeared on Exotic's YouTube show:

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In a recent episode of his podcast, O'Neal addressed his connection with Joe Exotic, as transcribed by NESN:

"So we go in there, and it's a beautiful place, and the character that was there was Exotic Joe. We're there and I dropped some donations for the tigers' foods and all that," O'Neal said. "We take pictures with (the) tigers. We went back a couple times.

"Then we go back another time and we found out that he's involved with all the stuff, and then, actually, I stopped going."

Added O'Neal: "I don't harm tigers. I love tigers. I love white tigers. Do I put donations to these zoos to help these tigers out? I do it all the time. Do I own tigers personally at my house? No. But I love tigers. Listen, people are going to make their own opinions, but, again, I was just a visitor. I met this guy - not my friend. Don't know him. Never had any business dealings with him, and I had no idea any of that stuff was going on."

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