Future Hall of Fame baller, Shaquille O’Neal has never had a problem speaking his mind. The legendary big man is gearing up for the release of his mew memoir and along with detailing his public spat with Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant, it’s Shaq’s revelations about his relationship with his ex-wife Shaunie that have folks talking.

Although they seemed like a happy couple, the two divorced amid rampant infidelity accusations. In his book, Shaq admits to cheating on his wife several times throughout their marriage, but says he did so in a respectful way.

“At one time my ex-wife Shaunie and I were happy, but I admit it–I was a guy. I was a guy with too many options. Choosing to be with some of those women, well, that’s on me. In my mind, I never did it disrespectfully, but obviously I shouldn’t have done it all.”

Now that he’s retired, and apparently grown up, Shaq said he’s learned from his cheating ways.

“You know as well as I do relationships are about maintaining… It wasn’t the big stuff, it was the small stuff, and that’s my fault. I had things to do. I was trying to win, trying to make some money. I admit I wasn’t the best partner. I just didn’t know how. I’m learning now.” 

I guess Shaq’s newfound enlightenment works out for his new woman, Hoopz (they are rumored to be married). But will he remain faithful? Considering Shaq is still famous, and I assume will still be on scene, he’ll still have plenty of options to choose from. Then what?

Reading Shaq talk about being unfaithful because he just had too many options to pass up made me think about Chris Rock’s words in his comedy special “Bigger and Blacker.” During the show, Rock said, “A man will be a man. A man is only as faithful as his options. That’s how faithful a man is, no more, no less.”

Although Rock was making a joke, I can’t help but wonder if there is truth in his statement.

Clutchettes and Gents do you think people (especially men) are only as faithful as their options? What does that say about our relationships?

Let’s talk about it! 

  • Mimi

    Athletes, celebs, people with a lot of money. They are all targets. My ex-boyfreind’s nephew played for the Indianapolis Colts and I couldn’t believe some of the stuff I saw when we would go to the games! Everything you’ve ever heard about athletes and groupies is 100% true, which is why I don’t understand women who expect their pro athlete to be faithful. These men have women throwing themselves at them after every game. And its not your average, crackhead with no teeth type of women. These are women who are extremely attractive and in excellent shape because they know that’s how they get their bread and butter. They make their living basically off the couple thousand here and there that they get from athletes. Think about it. How faithful would most men be if they had beautiful women throwing themselves at them? Yeah, you may hold out in the beginning. But eventually, you will give in. That’s just the nature of the beast.

    Let me state that this is not ALL athletes, but it is the overwhelming majority IMO.

  • jen

    No, this is true mostly of black and Hispanic men, their rates of infidelity are double that of white men, at 44% vs. 22%, respectively.

  • LemonNLime

    I don’t like the excuse because it is an attempt to take the guilt off the cheater and put it on those he is cheating with. When I go to a cupcake bakery there are lots of different options, that doesn’t mean I buy 100 cupcakes, I buy 1 because I have self-restraint and if I eat 100 cupcake hurt my body.

    People aren’t organisms create without self control. We each have freewill. No one makes you cheat even in the worst relationships (you can just end it and move on). One decides of their own freewill to do it.

    So Shaq others like him, woman it up take responsibility for your actions.

  • matador1015

    Jen, where do you get these statistics? That’s a pretty broad assertion to make about a very large segment of the population.

  • Whatever

    Same question? where exactly did you find this information? cheatersanonymous.com? LOL

  • Whatever

    If he loved his wife and respected their family unit he wouldn’t have been out there cheating. The end. Lame excuse for him to use and try to justify sleeping around with groupies and God knows what else.

  • sli

    He knew he had “options” before he got married. Athletes have women throwing themselves at them as far back as high school, which is why I don’t understand why they even get married–stay single. You’re right, Whatever, just another lame excuse for cheating.

  • CaliDreaming86

    Excuses, excuses.

  • Whatever

    Exactly. Just stay single instead of dragging your wife and children through your mess.

  • SAA

    I don’t think it says something about our relationships so much as it says something about the individual(s) who are cheating and to some degree who they cheating on their significant other with. I think Chris Rock’s statement does have truth but like LemonNLime said these men need to exercise some damn self-control. Those females Shaq was messing with knew he was married-GUILTY, Shaunie had to have known he was cheating and decided to stay with him-GUILTIER, Shaq took those vows and proceeded to hump strangers who threw their cookies at him- GUILTIEST of all.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2011/11/shaq-admits-to-cheating-on-ex-wife-because-of-too-many-options-is-this-true-for-most-men/ Mimi

    I don’t hear any remorse in his words. Cheating is a reflection of a man’s CHARACTER. PERIOD.

  • CaliDreaming86


  • http://kinksandart.tumblr.com Paris

    This! is the reason many women chose to remain single. What can a woman who hopes to form a strong, loving bond, do with a man with this mentality? Smh.

  • Trini

    You are SO right!

    Unless she is solely in it for the money, I have no idea why any self respecting woman would ever marry an athlete or celeb. Groupies are no joke! Those women will stop at NOTHING. On top of that, for the most part, these are men who are used to getting whatever they want, exactly when, where and how they want. For them there is no such thing as self control!

  • Trini

    Ok. I have a question. Does ANYBODY have any idea what this man meant by:
    “In my mind, I never did it disrespectfully…”


    So you cheated on your wife. Not just once, NUMEROUS times. But you never did it “disrespectfully.” So Im assuming, in his mind, there are “respectful” ways to cheat on your spouse??

  • Trini

    Why would they do that when they could easily have their cake and eat it too? Apparently it pays to be completely and unabashedly selfish.

  • http://Shareefjackson.com Shareef

    This is ridiculous. If a guy wants to cheat, he’ll cheat. This “everyone breaks” logic is flawed if you’re dealing with someone of integrity.

  • pink

    Get over it people. Lots of men cheat! Always have, and always will !!

  • pink

    And it doesn’t make any difference how beautiful his wife or girlfriend is. Cheating is inherit in lots of men.

  • lucylady

    I do not at all want to say that cheating is good. However there are respectful and disrespectful ways to do anything.
    And some players, celebs are extra disrespectful when they cheat ( Dwayne Wade, Swizz beats, LeAnn Rimes, Kevin Federline – the list goes on).
    If you know you haven’t told you SO that you are cheating then to hear about it in the paper, see it in the news, and everywhere else before you know is disrespectful. Shaq, ddin’t do that. he is not exonerated for cheating either, but he let his wife know, rather than her running into some women who says she slept with her man and she is caught off guard and doesn’t have her defenses up.

    You either let your SO know you are cheating, or you hide it and keep it on the low, not parade around the entire red carpet, facebook, twitter scene with pics of you and somebody else.

  • http://www.adivastateofmind.com A Diva State of Mind

    If he wasn’t ready to be in faithful relationships, he should’ve stayed single. Of course options exist for anyone. It comes down to whether or not someone chooses to entertain those options. Those committed to being faithful to their spouse will choose to to not entertain the options.

    He says ” In my mind, I never did it disrespectfully, but obviously I shouldn’t have done it all.” How does one cheat respectfully? Isn’t the act of cheating on your spouse disrespectful to your spouse and your relationships?

  • jamesfrmphilly

    i was not rich nor a baller and i had so many options that i did not care to marry.
    don’t marry if you can’t deal with the free stuff that is out there.
    the trick is to know yourself and be a man.

  • Ooh La La

    There is no ‘respectful’ way to cheat or your wife or girlfriend. Period.

  • damidwif

    “And it doesn’t make any difference how beautiful his wife or girlfriend is.”

    this right here. yeah sure there are lots of beautiful girls throwin it around for athletes, but what about the not so beautiful ones with whom the average man STILL cheats. men downgrade a lot as far as looks are concerned regarding extramarital affairs.

    and there a several reasons why cheating may seem inherit in men: one of the main one being that society, namely their spouse, let them get away with it, especially by saying things like men will be men.

    if you and your partner do not agree to sexual relationships outside of your relationship and it happens, move on…or renegotiate the relationship.

    oh the joys of monogamy

  • damidwif

    yes. or know yourself and be a woman—which is why i am single. and the only people who have a problem with my singlehood are those who are married and/or those who are unhappy in their current situation.

    the other option is to have an open marriage…

  • Simone

    It means what he’s saying…..in other words, he was discreet about his infidelity. It didn’t come out until the divorce filing.

  • Fledgling78

    “Women throwing themselves at men at you can be a problem and a half”

    -When “a man” finally gets tired of the pain, the drama, and the money (yes, it costs, one way or another when to be a Playa) expended upon the lifestyle he has chosen up to that point, he grows to a point where NOTHING and no one can turn him from the fidelity, love and consideration that he needs to have to sustain a healthy relationship…Or spends a lot more time making the same mistake while being unhappy and not understanding why.

    Using the excuse that he’s famous/rich/good-looking/”skilled” in bed/smart/well connected or purple with damned green stripes is just that-an excuse for behavior that they wouldn’t tolerate for one millisecond if it were turned around upon them.

    And no, it isn’t “respectful” of Shaq, a “man”, to inform his wife that he has violated her vows, her SAFETY, and her trust in him. Respectfully delivering such disrespect is putting lipstick on a hog’s ass. Adults have enough self control and judgement to discern when their desires will lead them to such a conclusion and ostensibly the will to resist such temptation whenever it rears its ugly head.

    If I am dealing with any male who isn’t able or willing to exert such control, and who felt like he had the right to sit down and deliver such news “respectfully”, it would give me the same idea it probably gave Shaunie…that, in doing so, he probably had exercised one option to many in expecting to have me and f*&^ someone else, too.

  • http://designsdelight.com art

    I undesand where he is coming from, he admitted it. He knows it was wrong.

    It is hard to resist an inaccessible women. There are women who are just edible, he should have delayed his marriage.

    Tiger had the same problem, he was not even black.

  • Fledgling78

    I had this problem when I met a recent someone lately…and, despite our obvious attraction for one another, our chemistry and heat, I had enough consciousness/morals/weariness of bad juju to think my way through the dance floor antics to critically examine the situation…. Call it whatever type of cynicism you wish to, but since I am an avowed non-cheater, I make a conscientious effort to avoid situations like these…

    Questions an HONEST woman asks of a male when approached…

    1) Who left YOU off the leash at 1:30 am in the club-alone?

    2) Where is she?At the bar, ordering cheap liquor to throw in my face? Removing clothing and shoes to tap that A&&? At home, wondering where you are with the kids?

    3) Does she have anger management problems or a prior arrest record for past violent offenses?

    4) Why are you here alone?

    5) Why do you think I am stupid enough to think I believe you’re single because you aren’t wearing a ring?

    6)If you don’t love her, what the hell am I supposed to think you have planned for me?

    7) Why do you take me for such a fool after only just meeting me?

    8) How could you be so cruel to either of us?

    You’ll notice that most of these things are related to me and not necessarily at him…But after running through an inner monologue like this one, it cools me down enough to be adult about things and do the adult thing for everyone involved…

    It bears mention that I feel myself getting weak sometimes…I am human, and sometimes that attraction is stronger than I would like to admit…but this is where being an ADULT comes into play. I realize that, if he has any length of time,money and emotion invested elsewhere that there isn’t enough left over for me to feel fulfilled the way I’d want to be. Then the old saying kicks in:

    Ladies, if he isn’t marriage material, he isn’t sex material.

    Goodness knows that Black women are often enough treated like the social mules of American dating scene. But it will never get better unless we insist upon more for ourselves and our lives. I am convinced that if more Black males get left alone for not acting like men when it counts, they will see enough of “their” women leave them alone that they will eventually get some act-right together. If they all wind up “marrying-out”, don’t be fooled. NO woman of any race with the means to do any better will put up with the sense of entitlement contentedly forever.

    I have been renewing my commitment to this-in addition to not obeying TheThirst- and, though I’ll admit that it has been tough, I have to say that, in hindsight, I am proud of many of more of my decisions. More than one brother has been stunned when I have explained my position calmly and respectfully. Most of them just seem to be ill-acquainted with hearing the word “no”.

    Clearly too many women have been saying “yes” too long. But the better ones view me with a little respect for holding out for what I want. Sometimes that, from a married dude, means nothing at all.

  • Carla

    “Look women are not out there looking for Asian men, but all sorts of women need black men. There are not enough of us out there.”

    And this is how black men think – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    God, I love it.

    Women NEED black men. I mean, they just need them, like they need air and water!

    This is just priceless. You can’t make this stuff up, you know. Are black men really this delusional or is this just bravado to mask their massive insecurities when they compare themselves to other men?

    Either way, it’s pretty damn sad.

  • Fledgling78

    LOL @ art-

    I think I even asked one (married) male who tried to kick it to me…”what happens to me in your life after I’ve been consumed?”

    Needless to say, he didn’t close the deal with me…and I can say that if I can do it, there is nothing that stops these women who spend all their time chasing ‘ballers from doing the same.

    Forced and momentous choice here. People should treat it as one. Because one day…
    It just may be.

  • http://[email protected] ross

    she pulled it out you know where

  • ruggie

    @art – “All sorts of women need black men. There are not enough of us out there.” Are black men who are doing relatively well, feel OK with the troubled state of black men overall because it cuts down on the competition??

  • CaliDreaming86

    *Screams in laughter*@ “Look women are not out there looking for Asian men, but all sorts of women need black men. There are not enough of us out there.”

    The last time I checked, Black men were ‘chasing’ after me, not the other way around. I am not even attracted to Black men. I am actually a Black woman who is attracted to Asian men.

  • Timcampi
  • QON


    I agree and disagree. The gender ratio doesnt help and the fact that black women dont date inter racially also gives black men a certain advantage but not by much. Thats mainly because black women do themselves no favor by shrinking their pool of potential black mates by restricting themselves to a certain very popular type of black man.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    there are a lot of women out there. it tests the character of a man.
    the pressure of all that free “P” makes a man decide what he wants to be.
    his character is placed on display for all to see.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    I remember NPR did something on this. They didn’t include black or Asian men, but focused on white non-Hispanic and white Hispanic men. I believe 53% of white men admitted to cheating vs. 75% of white non-Hispanic men.

    I don’t know black men’s numbers, but I’ll put them at 90% (yes I am bitter).

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    Timcampi: I don’t know if I will take data from a racist blog that purports to ‘validate stereotypes’. Why are ‘Blacks’ listed separately from ‘Americans’?

  • Tati

    Is it just me or did that sound like he misses his ex wife? Not looking at the mess of a show Basket Ball Wives,Shanuie seems like she know how to keep a home. As for Hoops well she messed around with flav….. so I’m just sayin he wants to go back to his wife and kids.

  • http://@clnmike Clnmike

    No pro athlete or celeb should marry after he retires just to be safe. As for the “options” theory, that is far from the law, it’s about the character of the man, if he can not resist temptation while in a marriage he is weak of character and should not have gotten married. I’m more curious as to why he got married in the first place with all these “options”.

  • whilome

    Without excusing the cheater, I really wish some folks would stop volunteering to be an “option” all the time.

    Nasty, backstabbing folks.

    A married person is 100% wrong for cheating, but the person who provided the outlet — knowingly?!– has a special place in hell waiting for them. That’s like me going to my sister’s house on Sunday, knowing she done made a meal for her family, and sliding my nieces and nephews a bag full a candy before they sit down. As a community, we should all try to uphold societal bonds.

    That said, Shaq is lame and he won’t ever find a true helpmeet, because he’s shown himself to be unworthy of one. Good luck with Hoopz, bruh.

  • http://www.angstandhumor.blogspot.com Shiks

    If you are generally nasty,you will cheat with anyone. Men with cash generally have more women willing to spread em’ for some monetary gain or fame.

  • Jean

    OMG, this is hilarious! The big lie gets repeated some more. And you’re right, it is sad, and what’s even more sad is that black men keep repeating this lie to themselves. They gotta have something to cling to, something where somebody wants them over other men.

    But the worst part about the big lie? It affects us, these brothers that are all puffed up with this illusion that all women secretly want them then feel justified in treating the sisters like crap. Get clued up, boys. Unless you are the top one-half of one percent of the brothers out there, and you got plenty of coin, ain’t no women gonna be throwing themselves at you.

    All you’re doing is driving us to other men with that ish. And then where will you be?

  • Timcampi

    @TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    That was my point entirely, the site numbers closest to what Jen stated is a racist webpage. Haha.

    “I believe 53% of white men admitted to cheating vs. 75% of white non-Hispanic men.”

    Did you mean 53% of White Hispanic Men? Because those two categories are the same thing otherwise D:

  • Nne

    Shaq is an old man – why is he just now learning that faithfulness=good and cheating=bad.
    And can someone please tell me – what is the difference between respectful and disrespectful cheating?

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    Timcampi: Sorry, I probably had a brain fart while typing it :D.

    It should read: ‘I believe 53% of white, non-Hispanic men admitted to cheating vs. 75% of white Hispanic men.’

  • Penny

    I totally agree; it’s all about the character of the person.

    I thought they got married because she was pregnant. I remember Shawnie very pregnant in a white dress. LOL.

  • QON


    I dont think I ever met a black man who was insecure when comparing himself to other men. The ingenious thing about “the brothas” is that instead of comparing and competing with other men he created his own niche where he has no other competition. Perhaps black women should have done the same since we stay crying about Eurocentric standards of beauty anytime we are asked to compete with other women.

  • Ali-Oop

    My thoughts exactly.

  • jen

    I got the nationally representative stats from the Love & Lust MSNBC survey that included something like 10,000 participants (and it was consistent with at least a dozen others I had seen over a period of about 4 years, the self-reported rate for American men hovers around 22%). The problem is that with white men they don’t really isolate them from the other races, which means that the numbers might be slightly inflated given the inclusion of other races. I got the stats on black men nationally representative stats from a novel on the state of black matrimony and why black women are more likely to file for divorce than white women, and there was a recent article I had read in which the woman they interviewed (a black woman, this was on a black site, a competitor of this one) merely said, “Hispanic men have similar rates to black men.” Given that black men’s self-reported marital infidelity rate is 44%, that would tell me that Hispanic men’s are also roughly double that of white men’s.

  • Ravi

    you can find numbers to say whatever you want. every website that addresses this is based on equally specious data from surveys where people self report. That’s why you see the insane amount of variance. Cheaters might not be the most truthful of people around, so why is anyone giving credence to numbers dependent on the veracity of cheaters.

    on my first google search i found the following site:


    black men were high on the list but not the highest, and not very far off from “American” men (certainly not twice as high as white men in general).

  • Flo

    That’s exactly what I was trying to figure out. The respectful vs. disrespectful.

  • Pingback: Shaq Talks Basketball Wives & Explains ‘Respectfully Cheating’ Comment

  • Pingback: Shaq Talks Basketball Wives & Explains ‘Respectfully Cheating’ Comment

Latest Stories

Taraji P. Henson Says European Men Are Less ‘Bitter’ and ‘Jaded’ Than American Men


Style Inspiration: Casual Work Outfits


After Mimi Faust’s Sex Tape, Steve Harvey Tells Women to Protect Their ‘Precious Jewel’ Because ‘It Is What Every Man Is After’


10 Very Basic Tips For First Time Homebuyers

Read previous post:
Target Employee Starts Petition To Open Store Later On Black Friday, How Soon Is Too Soon To Shop?
Why We Love: Mana Couture