Bad behavior — like bad news — too often grabs the spotlight and the headlines. Media outlets know people are attracted to the negative. Why? Maybe they’ve been conditioned by the media to act that way.
Professional athletes are no exception. The media loves to focus on the negative when things go bad for athletes. Remember when O.J. Simpson stood trial for murder? The trial was televised, and people all over the world were glued to their televisions. How about Tiger Woods and his affairs with prostitutes and nightclub owners? These negative incidents involving professional athletes and many more have received plenty of media coverage.
But what happens when an athlete does something good? Take Shaquille O’Neal, for example. He’s known for committing charitable acts, and he’s at it again. O’Neal walked into a Best Buy in Lafayette, Louisiana, last week to inquire about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip phone, according to KLFY-TV.
Kquoella Lewis went to Best Buy to get an iPad. She noticed a tall man walking next to her. It was Shaquille O’Neal.
Lewis told O’Neal her thoughts on the Galaxy Z, and O’Neal told a store employee, “Get two, one for me and one for her.” The Galaxy Z goes for about $1200.
Lewis said the other phone wasn’t even for O’Neal as he prefers Apple products, according to KLYF.
So does the 24/7 news cycle focus on the negative too much?
In 1994, O.J. Simpson grabbed the headlines for months when his murder trial was televised. Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nichole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. Simpson was found not guilty of murder, but the jury of public opinion was not so kind. In a later civil trial, Simpson was ordered to pay the victims’ families $33.5 million. There was tons of media coverage.
In 2009, Tiger Woods, then the highest-ranking golf player in the world, was accused of having an affair with Rachel Uchitel. Elin Nordegren, Wood’s wife, found out about it. She also found out about Woods’ involvement in sex scandals with pornstars, strippers, and prostitutes. There was loads of media coverage.
These are high-visibility cases of athletes up to no good, but numerous less-known athletes grab headlines after doing something rotten.
For example, Rae Carruth was drafted in 1997 by the Carolina Panthers. Shortly thereafter, he plotted to kill his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams. Adams died 28 days after a drive-by ambush. Suffice it to say, the incident garnered ample media coverage.
And the list goes on. You get the picture.
The point is that cases like Simpson’s and Woods’ are ingrained in the American psyche. Shaquille O’Neal’s good deeds — and there are a lot of them — are more like blips on the radar of the American consciousness. They are like dreams that fade upon waking.
How many remember when O’Neal decided to pay for everyone’s meals in Jue Lan Club, a popular spot in New York City in 2022? There were 40 tables in the place, and O’Neal also left a more than generous tip, as reported in The Western Journal. O’Neal didn’t want to draw attention to himself and asked the staff not to mention that he was paying the tab until after he left.
How many remember when O’Neal donated thousands of Christmas gifts to children who otherwise might have gone without?
And then there was the time O’Neal was out shopping and decided to buy an engagement ring for a complete stranger, as CBS News reported. Though the man initially refused the offer, O’Neal convinced him by saying, “This is something I do every day.”