Kyrie Irving isn’t the only flat earth truther around the NBA. Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal revealed that, he too, can’t fathom basic science on a recent podcast with Kevin Garnett.
“It’s true. The earth is flat. The earth is flat. Yes it is. Listen, there are three ways to manipulate the mind — what you read, what you see, and what you hear. In school, first thing they teach us is, ‘Oh, Columbus discovered America,’ but when he got there, there were some fair-skinned people with the long hair smoking on the peace pipes. So what does that tell you? Columbus didn’t discover America. So, listen, I drive from coast to coast, and this s**t is flat to me. I’m just saying. I drive from Florida to California all the time and it’s flat to me. I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle, and all that stuff about gravity, have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all those buildings? You mean to tell us China is under us? China is under us? It’s not. The world is flat,” said O’Neal on the Big Podcast, via Ben Rohrbach.
There’s a lot to break down here. First, how do you get from Christopher Columbus to a flat earth? As every fourth-grade student knows, one of the things Columbus did was disprove the idea of a flat earth by sailing to America without falling off the end of the world. Nobody — to our knowledge — teaches that Columbus “discovered” America as a serious thing. It’s what Columbus himself thought and what the Europeans thought, but today we understand there weren’t just Native Americans there but Vikings were in Newfoundland centuries before Columbus.
Fair to say that, in addition to believing the earth is flat, O’Neal is not particularly well-versed in the scientific method. Most scientists probably wouldn’t swear by the experiment of driving your car from Florida to California and waiting for the ground to curve.
Also, what’s with the shot at gravity? Is Shaquille O’Neal really subtweeting gravity while he sits in a chair recording a podcast without any of the equipment floating around the room? Evidently, yes.