Shaquille O’Neal has weighed in on the debate raging around whether esports players are athletes or not, claiming they should indeed be recognized as one and the same.
In a short clip posted to Twitter, Jake Lucky asked Shaq directly whether he considers esports players to be ‘Athletes’.
Shaq fired off an instant “I do”, before continuing and clarifying his point. “Athlete means different things. But athlete means here” while tapping his temple.
Expanding upon what ‘here’ means, O’Neal stated “15% of the game is physical, everything else is mental.”
Finalizing his thoughts on the topic, O’Neal offered this inspirational soundbite: “If you guys say you’re athletes, I believe you. Cause I can’t do what you do.”