NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal has been talking about social justice for a long time. That conversation has been amplified in recent days, and many are just now joining the battle against racism and other inequities. Shaq’s latest move involves a little help from a friend and NFL star, Rob Gronkowski.
Shaq has announced a huge – and virtual, online – party and fundraiser he and Gronk will be putting on. Think “Shaq’s Fun House” tour, but in a 100% online format. Now with Gronkowski aboard, it’s Shaq’s Fun House vs. Gronk Beach virtual party. The three-hour online fundraiser will feature a number of big-name performers. All proceeds will go to the NAACP Empowerment Programs and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
The big party is set for Sunday, June 27th starting at 8 PM Eastern time. Look for musical performances (virtually) from Snoop Dogg, DaBaby, Steve Aoki, Diplo and Carnage. O’Neal will also make an appearance as DJ Diesel.
The entire event will be available worldwide through more than 20 online platforms, a huge network. A new website has been set up for the event: ShaqvsGronk.com. You can also look for the event on LiveXLive, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube and Twitter. The stream is offered free of charge…but bring your credit card to help with fundraising efforts.
Shaq says he wanted to “…be sensitive to people. That’s why we wanted [it] to be labeled as ‘Party with a Purpose. We just want to bring a little joy. There’s a lot of stuff going on, and we are aware of that, and we hope to do our part. We’re gonna continue to do our part.”
Along with the great music, tune in to check out the “Shaq vs. Gronk” battles. O’Neal and Gronkowski will compete in a series of cool challenges: Lip-sync battles, a game of HORSE, jousting and a chicken-wing-eating contest.
Each time O’Neal wins, a donation will be made to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. When Gronkowski wins, a donation goes to the NAACP Empowerment Programs.
Popular food-delivery company DoorDash is a corporate partner for the event. The company is pledging to donate one meal for every viewer who livestreams the event — up to 1.25 million meals — through its partnership with Feeding America. Fans will also be able to show off their dance moves with The General’s Fan Cam.
If and when the new NFL football season gets underway, Gronkowski will be playing with his old friend and teammate Tom Brady in Tampa. (Oh please God, let there be football this year!!)
Gronk: “We wanted to do it now with a purpose, and this is a purpose to raise money for great causes and to raise money for everything that’s going on out there. So music, sports, competitions — we just knew that it was a win-win. And on top of it, whenever Shaq and I have the chance to come together and bring other people together — ’cause that’s what we love to do, is bring everyone together, unite everyone together — we just knew it was a no-brainer to do.”
Gronk and other stars of sports and entertainment are using their positions to speak out against racism, violence and more. For Gronkowski, that means talking with teammates and staff with his new team, the Buccaneers.
Shaq is happy to see leaders in sports and entertainment stepping up and making their voices heard. “I’m proud of all the guys that are bringing awareness to the situation,” O’Neal said. “Now that awareness is brought, we have to hand it off to the people that can get laws changed, to the senators, to Republicans and the Democrats, to mayors, congressmen — they have to do something. It’s been going on for far too long. The country has done a beautiful job of coming together to bring a lot of awareness.”