Earlier this spring, The Nation’s David Zirin accused TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal of using his position as owner of a Newark, NJ multiplex to pull the plug on screenings of “Mumia : Long Distance Revolutionary”. Perhaps unaware that TNT’s studio show takes place in Atlanta, protestors set up shop at Sunday’s Spurs/Warriors game in Oakland. From Indiebay.org’s Gerald Smith :
Shaquille O’Neal has long been a wannabe cop. He says he was “raised” by the Newark Police; he’s a big supported of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and a “reserve police officer” in a number of cities; on a “ride along” in Baton Rouge police internal affairs accused him (then cleared him) of flushing a suspect’s head in a toilet. His canceling of the movie furthers a 30-year campaign by the FOP to see that Mumia dies in prison.
Mumia supporters including the documentary filmmaker Stephen Vittoria demonstrated at the Newark theater. In Oakland protesters came to the NBA playoff game from the Oakland Teachers for Mumia, the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the Port Workers Solidarity Committee. The slogans on the pickets signs included: “Shame on Shaq”, “Show the Movie”, and “Say It Ain’t So Shaq”, and pointed out that while NBA superstar LeBron James spoke out for Trayvon Martin when that teenager was killed by a “reserve” wannabe cop, Shaquille O’Neal instead chose to attack Mumia.