“Dale Earnhardt Jr Challenged Me to a Race”: 7 ft Shaquille O’Neal Recalls National NASCAR Humiliation

Published 12/27/2022, 12:30 PM EST

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Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal is one of the funniest people in the NBA world. He makes a lot of hilarious statements on the go while talking about basketball and sports in general, whether it’s on a live broadcast on NBA on TNT or any other TV or radio appearance. However, in the past, one such statement had led to a huge embarrassment for him and Shaq had to apologize to get out of the situation. The Big Diesel almost got himself into trouble again for his remarks on soccer recently until he was reminded of the past incident involving Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a legendary NASCAR driver, who has bagged 26 wins in the cup series. He left the sport in 2017 to focus on his businesses. He also once embarrassed Shaq in front of the NASCAR world after the four-time NBA champion made a dismissive claim about the sport.

Shaquille O’Neal invites trouble once again

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In an episode of ‘The Big Podcast’, Shaquille O’Neal expressed his views on soccer recently. According to Shaq, soccer is all about running and kicking. Nischelle Turner, one of the hosts of the podcast stressed the importance of hand-eye coordination involved in soccer. But Big Diesel was quick to dismiss it. That’s when, Spice Adams, another host of the show, chimed in with a tricky question. He asked, “Do you consider them [Soccer players] athletes?”

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Shaq responded affirmatively and admitted that he would never discount a player of a certain sport as a non-athlete. The big man had a very good reason to possess such a viewpoint. He revealed, “I said that about NASCAR, and Dale Earnhardt Jr challenged me to the race that was the toughest thing I had to do, so I had to come back and say I apologize, you guys [are] athletes.

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NASCAR’s “Terrifying” 3 Hour Experience Forced Shaquille O’Neal to Sleep for 2 Days Straight in 2010

In 2010, Dale Earnhardt Jr. challenged Shaq to a race after the latter claimed that NASCAR drivers are not athletes. Earnhardt completed the 50 laps race comfortably, while Shaq struggled profusely during the stint. After the race, Shaq said, “Whoever said these guys aren’t athletes are out of their mind.” He considered the race the toughest three hours of his life.

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Do you agree with Shaq’s remarks on soccer? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Shahul Hameed

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Shahul Hameed is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He holds a Master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and has previously worked as a contributor at an online news site. Shahul has always shared a keen interest in journalism, starting off as a reporter for his college news journal.
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Edited by:

Satagni Sikder

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