Friday, September 30, 2022

Basketball star Shaq a guest star at Australian PM’s news conference

Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal made an impromptu appearance at a press conference held by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Saturday.

“Congratulations to you guys and I want you to know that Shaq loves Australia,” Mr. O’Neal said at the event, as quoted by The Age.

Prime Minister Albanese has enlisted Shaq to support Australia’s upcoming referendum to amend their constitution and add a “Voice to Parliament” for the country’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Shaq is someone who is well known to younger people, and one of the things that we have been doing is trying to mobilize support for the Voice to Parliament by talking with sporting figures” Prime Minister Albanese said, according to Bloomberg.

Australian Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney, also a member of Mr. Albanese’s Labor Party, noted that “He said it was a noble task. That it was important,” according to The Age.

“I’m here in your country, whatever you need from me you just let me know,” Mr. O’Neal, who is in the country on a speaking tour, said before leaving without taking questions, according to Reuters.

Accordingly, Prime Minister Albanese indicated that Mr. O’Neal agreed to cut some video promos in support of the indigenous “Voice to Parliament”, according to Reuters.

The Australian Constitution, written in 1901, does not currently make any reference to its indigenous communities. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 3.2% of Australia’s population.

There is not yet a set date for the Australian constitutional referendum.

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