Former President Barack Obama pleaded with Black Americans to take one of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines.
Obama appeared on ATTN's "Roll Up Your Sleeves" television special, alongside retired NBA stars Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley on Sunday.
The goal of the TV special was to convince hesitant Black people to take one of the still experimental vaccines.
Obama urged Black Americans to "forget what happened back in the day," referring to the infamous Tuskegee experiment.
Obama said those men got sick and some died because the doctors withheld treatment.
"The irony is when you know about the Tuskegee experiment, what was going on there was the government withheld treatment that was available for black men for syphilis. It wasn't that they made them sick by giving them medicine, it's that they didn't give them medicine they needed."
Referring to the experimental vaccines as "medicine," Obama said, "So here's a situation where if the medicine's available, we need to take it."
He said Black people should take the mRNA vaccines because the "wealthy and the powerful" are taking it.
"And look, if the wealthy and the powerful in our society are all lining up to get shots, that means everybody should know it's a good thing to get."
The CDC said only 25% of the American population got at least one shot of the vaccine.
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal surprised a stranger by paying off his engagement ring debt while shopping in a jewelry store.
Shaq, 49, was shopping at a Zales jewelry store in Atlanta, Georgia when he spotted a young man paying down on a lay-away engagement ring. Shaq handed the salesman his credit card after realizing the guy was struggling to pay off the debt.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
The 7-foot-1-inch sports analyst was in the store shopping for earrings for his girlfriend, Laticia Rolle.
He shared the story during his TV show NBA on TNT on Tuesday night, April 6, and now video of his generosity has gone viral.
"I seen the guy come in - he was just so shy," Shaq said. "He was saying, 'Hey, how much do I owe to pay off my ring?' And I was like, 'My man, how much is the ring?' I'm not going to say the amount, but it's not a lot for me. I was like, 'You know what? Tell your girlfriend I got her. I'll take care of it'. At first, he didn't want to take it. He was like, 'Man, I can't do that'. I said, 'Don't worry about it. I do it all the time. I'm just trying to make people smile, that's all'."
Shaq, who has more money than he can spend, also paid off a family's bill at a furniture store.
"This lady, she had an autistic daughter, and she was also looking to pay for some furniture and I just took care of her. I'm into making people happy. Whenever I leave the house, I just try to do a good deed."
In 2019, Shaq surprised a young fan by purchasing custom shoes and sneakers because the teen's mother couldn't afford shoes in his size.
Watch the video below.
George Pimentel/Getty Images
A historic Krispy Kreme in Atlanta, Georgia, owned by NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, was heavily damaged by fire early Wednesday.
Atlanta fire crews responded to reports of a fire at the location shortly after midnight. When fire crews arrived, the historic structure was fully engulfed in flames, ESPN reported.
The fire reportedly started in the rear of the building. Video posted on social media shows roaring flames. No injuries were reported.
O'Neal bought the store in 2016. Originally built in 1965, the Krispy Kreme fed mourners after Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral in 1968 by donating 150 dozen doughnuts to Atlanta churches.
"I hope no one was hurt and we will bounce back better than ever," the Basketball Hall of Famer told WXIA-TV.
Shaquille O'Neal was positioned to be the face of Papa John's Pizza after the company spent $50 million to scrub founder Joe Schnatter's face from pizza boxes and delivery vans.
But now it seems O'Neal may get the pink slip for missing too many shareholder's meetings.
O'Neal is pictured with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at the grand opening of his Papa John's franchise store in Atlanta in August 2019.
Last year, O'Neal reportedly approached then-CEO Steve Ritchie and activist investor Jeff Smith and told them, "I would like to be involved, if I can be on the board and if I can purchase a couple franchises.”
Papa John's signed O'Neal to a lucrative partnership last year that included nine franchises and a seat on the board.
O'Neal, who is in high demand as a product endorser, apparently took the money and ran -- at least that's what he's being accused of by an advisory firm.
Institutional Shareholder Services, a corporate advisory firm, is encouraging Papa John's to kick O'Neal off the board for missing 75% of shareholder meetings.
ISS wants the board members to vote to remove O'Neal at its April 23 shareholder's meeting.
In its SEC filing, Papa John's revealed every member attended at least 75% of meetings "except for Shaquille O'Neal," who was unable to attend board meetings due to prior business commitments.
O'Neal also has sponsorship and endorsement deals with Ring, Steady, Forto Coffee Shots, Carnival Cruises, Icy Hot, Krispy Kreme, and National General Insurance, as well as a sports analyst gig with TNT.
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal's sister Ayesha Harrison-Jex died Thursday night after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Harrison-Jex, 40, was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. O'Neal's co-host Ernie Johnson announced the sad news during the TNT's Inside the NBA sports program on Thursday.
O'Neal was noticeably absent during the sports analyst program that normally features O'Neal alongside Johnson, Charles Barkley, Candace Parker and Kenny Smith.
"I'm trying to put into words the way Shaquille has reacted to this, and he's struggling," Johnson said. "And when he struggles, we struggle with him. Because he's one of our brothers and we feel for him tonight."
Johnson added that O'Neal, 47, is currently in Orlando, Florida, with his family.
Barkley said kind words to O'Neal's mother, Lucille O'Neal, who was there for his family when his mother died.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who was on the show, also sent his condolences to the O'Neal family.
"It's times like this when we're all together," Silver said.
Shaquille tweeted, "Thanks for the condolences and the love. If I had older brothers, it would be you 3. Love y'all and love you more Candice."
Harrison-Jex leaves behind a son Bryce, according to Johnson. She will be laid to rest in a military cemetery and will be buried next to O’Neal’s stepfather, Sgt. Phillip Harrison.
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