Shaq Continues Run Of Sweet Gestures After Paying Restaurant Bill By Donating Money Toward Shooting Victims' Families

Shaquille O'Neal on Inside the NBA.
(Image credit: TNT)

Shaquille O’Neal may be best known for his skills on the basketball court or his unapologetic stances on pop culture, but he’s also low-key known for his incredible generosity. He has been caught in the act of helping fellow shoppers pay for their purchases or dropping huge tips at restaurants — even recently paying for the meals of every person in the restaurant he was at, including the staff! When his tour as DJ Diesel took him to Buffalo in the wake of their mass shooting, he saw another opportunity to help families in need.

Of all the passions of the 7-foot-1 four-time NBA Champion, music has always been a big one, but the often candid rapper was reportedly unsure about going through with his scheduled date in Buffalo, New York, following the recent hate crime at a Tops Friendly Markets. On May 14, a white supremacist opened fire at the supermarket, killing ten Black people, including retired police officer Aaron Salter Jr., who died trying to stop the shooter. Shaquille O’Neal did do the June 24 show and told Swaggie Sie on SiriusXM that he planned to help the victims’ families:

I’m going to donate my proceeds to some of the family members who had a tragic loss.

Not only did he reportedly donate the $50,000 he made from the DJ Diesel gig, but TMZ Sports reports that he spent one-on-one time with Aaron Salter Jr.’s widow and son. That’s such a nice gesture for the NBA legend, and it sure looked like there were plenty of other people who were happy Shaq didn’t cancel the date. Check out some scenes the disc jockey posted from the Buffalo event:

Shaquille O’Neal was not the only celebrity to respond to the Buffalo mass shooting in such a way. Dave Chappelle — who recently faced a scary incident of his own, when he was attacked on stage at the Hollywood Bowl — scheduled an impromptu show in Buffalo, reportedly announcing to the sold-out crowd of 3,000 that he was donating all of the proceeds to the 10 families’ victims.

The Buffalo Bills, as well, teamed with the NFL to provide $400,000 to the Buffalo Community Response Fund and various other nonprofits, while some members of the Bills donated additional funds from their personal charities. Quarterback Josh Allen also said the team was meeting about how to further help the community.

Shaquille O’Neal’s gesture comes on the heels of several other acts of generosity. He recently went out on a date in New York, in which he not only treated the staff of Jue Lan Club in Chelsea to dinner and large tips, he paid the bills for everyone in the restaurant — covering a tab that reportedly totaled well over $25,000.

In February, it was reported that he bought meals and new vehicles for a large family in need, and last year he paid off a man’s engagement ring when he overheard his conversation while shopping at Zales. When discussing that latter incident on NBA on TNT, he said he tries to do things like that every day, and his generosity is likely making a big difference in many people’s lives. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.