It turns among all the actions Tiger KingOne of the most accidental revelations was that basketball star Shaquille O & # 39; Neal Joe Exotic, also known as Joseph Maldonado-Passage, knows the colorful and criminal nature at the heart of the wildlife drama. Shaq has a cameo in one of the episodes of the documentaries and can be seen as he travels through the park, photographs with the Maldonado passage and looks at the animals. After the turmoil about his appearance on the show, Shaq tried to correct the record with his own explanation of how well he knows Joe Exotic or not.
"Listen, people will express their own opinions, but I was just a visitor again. I met this guy – not my friend. Don't know him," Shaq said in a episode of his podcast "The Big Podcast" with Shaq "Late March." I never had any business relationships with him and I had no idea anything of this was going on. "He revealed that his first visit to the Maldonado Passage Zoo happened on a whim after he was on the way had discovered a sign for the "sanctuary" during a basketball game in a team bus, and when he stopped by, met Joe Exotic and took some pictures and donated food for the big cats.
Shaq insisted that he stop going to the Maldonado Passage Park after learning about the shadier things that are happening there and that his main interest has always been to help protect the tigers. "People who know me, they know I'm fair. I don't harm tigers. I love tigers. I love white tigers. Do I donate to these zoos to help these tigers? I do it all the time. I own tigers personally in my house? No. "
Back in 2015, Page Six revealed that Shaq had bought two tiger cubs a decade ago, who now apparently live on a Florida farm and are looked after by a zookeeper. He has occasionally shared pictures on Instagram of baby tigers that he sponsored, as well as a "liger" – a cross between a lion and a tiger – which he called Charles Barkley.
Although Tiger King has been traveling for a few weeks, and questions about Shaq's relationship with Joe Exotic have continued. In an interview on Conanhe repeated his distance to the unsavory parts of the whole fiasco. "Being friendly to someone doesn't mean that we are friends. I have no relationship with him or his zoo. I like animals; every zoo in the country knows my name, I made big donations to animals for food. Homeless , all that good stuff. "As for his thoughts on Joe Exotic? "He was one of those people who go to auditions every day and want to be a star so bad that they just do everything." Shaq's involvement in the big cat world has been controversial at times, but he insists that his brief appearance in Tiger King was exactly that: short and insignificant.