Shaq Claims Professional Gamers Are Athletes

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The question used to be whether or not NASCAR drivers should be respected as athletes, and now the debate switched to professional gamers. Far more lucrative than people think, but are nerds athletic? Shaq thinks so. He joined Jack Lucky, co-owner of Full Squad Gaming, to share why he goes to bat for gamers around the world.

“Athlete means different things but athlete means here,” Shaq said while pointing to his head. “I did a show called ‘Shaq Versus’ when I went to a race with Dale Earnhardt, that was the hardest **** I ever did in my life. I’m sitting in the car my body was so sore I was like ‘god damn’…when I went to swim against Michael Phelps 15% of the game is physical and everything else is mental, so the things that you guys go through that’s why you guys don’t really have a long life shelf. I think it’s like three to five…five to six years. Same thing with the NBA and you know NFL, so yes, you guys are athletes. If you guys say you’re athletes I believe you because I can’t do what you do.”

Are gamers really athletes, though? Let’s discuss.

One thing we all know about Shaq is that he’s an expert business man and knows how to work a crowd. Let’s say the big diesel eventually grows interest to purchase an E-sports team — wouldn’t saying something like this be smart for anyone’s potential venture into the gaming space? To get those that consume gaming, whether professional or for fun on streaming platforms like Twitch, to like a major investor? Shaq is playing this the right way, and he’s likely up to something.

But to address his comments, Shaq is paying respects to a field that’s widely dismissed by athletes that endure contact. Most people equate the word “athlete” with an ability to sprint, jump or cut side to side on a dime. Back in the 90’s, fans of basketball didn’t call Michael Jordan the best athlete on the court because of his ability to think. His physical skillset warranted those descriptions, however Shaq wants to bring attention to talent. Nothing wrong with that. There’s no denying professional gamers are talented and there’s at least some physical exertion to performing at the highest level. Because if there wasn’t we’d all quit our boring jobs and take up gaming for millions of dollars full-time.

Sounds a bit ridiculous to call a bunch of skinny Mountain Dew drinking teenagers athletes like a Jeff Gordon or Steph Curry, but they do deserve a ton of credit. Just about every kid wants to game these days which means the competition for those spots is growing exponentially. Either way, Shaq is a businessman that’s likely to graduate from owning Five Guys and running commercials with The General to part or full ownership of an E-sports organization. They make plenty money so all the power to him. Right on, Shaq.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

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