Bullying, Meet Shaq 

Shaquille O’Neal delivering his message to Jacob
Jacob, with an LA Lakers jersey on, filming his response video

Fourth-grader Jacob Lance is a lot like other kids his age. He wonders what he will be when he grows up, he enjoys his classes at school and he knows former professional NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. 

Also like other kids his age, Gubser student Jacob sometimes deals with bullying by being picked on at school because he doesn’t play sports, according to his father Brent Perry. 

In response, Jacob’s mother, Christine Perry, made a Facebook post describing the issues Jacob had been facing in school to both let others know the situation and spread anti-bullying awareness. 

Brent described how once he saw that, he shared it with Ford McMurtry, a close friend of his who happened to be Shaquille O’Neal’s high school basketball coach at the U.S. Air Force base in Wildflecken, West Germany. 

McMurtry shared the video with Shaq who, in response, sent a video back specifically for Jacob. 

In the 13-second video, “uncle” Shaq acknowledges the struggle Jacob is going through but tells him to keep at it alongside respecting his parents and to continue working hard in school. 

He ends the video with a tender, “Love ya.” 

In Jacob’s response video, his elation evident, he thanks “uncle” Shaq for his response and kind words. 

Christine, in another social media post, said “Now that little boy who was bullied for not playing sports gets to tell everyone about this. He has a new idol and you (Shaq) have a new biggest fan.” 

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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