Shaq clarifies appearance on 'Tiger King,' says Joe Exotic is 'not my friend'

Shaquille O’Neal wants his fans to know that he doesn’t support Joe Exotic. O’Neal — who appeared on an episode of the “Tiger King” documentary — downplayed his relationship with Exotic during the most recent episode of “The Big Podcast with Shaq.”

O’Neal said he was unaware of any of the shady things going on with Exotic behind the scenes. Shaq said he never had any business dealings with Exotic, and said Exotic was “not [his] friend.”

O’Neal, 48, said he stopped going to Exotic’s tiger sanctuary once he learned what was going on, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We find out that he’s involved with all this stuff, and actually I stopped going,” O’Neal said. “I’m righteous. I don’t harm tigers. ... Do I put donations to zoos to help these tigers out? I do ... Do I own tigers personally at my house? No. But I love tigers.”

Who is Joe Exotic and what is “Tiger King”?

If you’ve been avoiding social media the past couple days, you may have no idea what any of the above paragraphs mean. Allow us to try and explain.

Joe Exotic is the focal point of a new Netflix documentary titled “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.” The documentary covers Exotic’s tiger sanctuary and many other topics, including a murder-for-hire plot. With the world quarantined due to the coronavirus, “Tiger King” has seemingly become everyone’s guilty pleasure. Without spoiling things, there are plenty of jaw-dropping revelations over the course of the seven-part series.

O’Neal appears in an episode of the documentary. He took a picture with Exotic while at the sanctuary.

Given the murder plot discussed in the documentary, O’Neal decided it was a good idea to clarify his relationship with Exotic.

O’Neal said he would continue visiting animal sanctuaries due to his love of animals.

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