I’ve been a fan of Shaunie O’Neal for a long time. Since her early career days as an entertainment analyst for Insider and Access Hollywood, I’ve respected her business acumen and drive to be seen as something other than a “Basketball Wife.”

Which is why it’s time for her to get the hell out of dodge and drop the show with her reputation intact.

I don’t say this because of the typical criticisms you may hear concerning the show, such as it “portrays women of color in a bad light.” Personally, as I’ve said in a previous article on Clutch, these women don’t represent me, they represent themselves, and I refuse to stake ownership in their actions.

It’s time for Shaunie to leave because she’s obviously ready to leave.

Just like that bad marriage that you hold on to for dear life, anytime you have to consult your pastor to determine if you should leave or stay, you already know that answer.

“How long will they go on like this? How many times do the women, cuss, fuss and get mad,” asked Bishop Ulmer of Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California. “Do you resolve this frustration when you see these women clawing at each other? Is it worth you walking away from?”

“I have really strongly considered walking away. Do I walk away and love the ladies from the distance,” Shaunie responded. “I feel like there’s nothing else that I can do. At this point I can no longer defend it; I can no longer stand by it.”

This comes after she voiced palpable contempt at her friends’ behavior and promised that they would get their act together:

“As this group has been blessed with strong, smart, independent, sassy women with as much passion as vocabulary, there’s NO excuse for physical violence. So the cast, SHED Media and Vh1 have done a gut check, to stop allowing physical violence demoralize the show and impose a no-physical violence policy.

“Personally, I almost didn’t come back to the show, but I thought it was important for this to be said as some of the past actions this season I have not agreed with, it’s not what I stand for and never have. So moving forward, we have agreed to better the show, still with plenty of drama and fun (how can we help that?!) but with a more responsible attitude all around. This is important for me specifically as an executive and what I do and don’t attach my name to, as a grown woman, and as a positive role model to my kids.”

To make a long story short: She’s embarrassed, she’s fed up, she’s done…but she’s still making her own money. Her obvious need for that to continue ensures that she remains a huge part of the problem – the one she claims not to want. She consistently throws a rock and hides her hands, while her henchmen do the dirty work. She has never once tried to stop a fight, never once spoken up in earnest for one of the women being bullied. Note that Meeka Claxton was done worse than a dirty dog last season and as long as the ratings kept rolling in, we didn’t hear a peep from Shaunie. She has always instigated from the sidelines while the checks roll in – and people have noticed.

Quite honestly, for an executive producer and mother of five, it’s a very bad look. Not only because it’s juvenile behavior, but because it’s obvious that she’s exploiting her “friends” for profit. Does she adore Evelyn and Tami? I’m sure she does. Does she grin a little bit inside every time they act a damn fool? Probably.

The “Queen Bee” knows that she’s better than the image she’s presenting to the world and no amount of money is worth jeopardizing future opportunities that don’t revolve around jumping across tables and hurling wine bottles. She’s a strong beautiful, woman with the world at her fingertips and I, for one, look forward to what she does next.

Let it go, Shaunie.

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  • *eye rolling this article*

    Girrl, Shaunie is not a saint. Stop making excuses for her. She is the lady that pitched this show into reality. What’s more, she is walking away just now, when people have just started to voice their contempt for the violence on display. Oh wow! So you are telling us that she should walk with her dignity intact. Abeg! I do not feel sorry for her! This is all an act. What she is doing is simply, applying business savvy. She is striking while the iron is hot. This would be a great and STRATEGIC time for her to walk away from it all. After all, she has nothing to loose. This article gets an EPIC side eye, roll and pat on my fro.

    When it’s all said and done, *Heyyyyyyyyyy Kirsten* I’ve actually missed your articles. They are always oh so, errrm, dramatic. Pause!lool.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    *Waves* Hey, Sis!

    And stop eye-rolling, we’re saying the exact same thing lol! I’m not saying feel sorry for her at all. I’m saying that she needs to stop exploiting her friends and move on. It’s obvious that her heart’s not in it, her wallet is. It’s definitely strategic, which is why she needs to move on…now.

    You can’t go complaining about your own show coast to coast without people looking at you side-eyed for still doing it, feel me? As my grandmother used to say, her slip is showing. :-)

    • *waves back*

      Girl the way you wrote this article, I could have sworn you are on her payroll!!! Shiid. I ain’t even know we are saying the same thing, that was not my impression at all. Imma read this again, morrow and see whether my perspective changes…lol!

  • I can see how people believe Shaunie is an instigator, I’m just a little confused when people say Shaunie is pimping her friends for profit. I mean no one is forcing the other women to be on the show, they dictate their own actions. Staged or not, the only thing that bothers me about Shaunie and many of the other girls (except for Royce) is how they sit idly by and watch someone be physically, mentally and morally attacked. This whole season I’ve sat back and watched every episode trying to figure out just what exactly Keisha and Jen said or did to make everyone else so angry. Royce is the only one with some semblance of a backbone and integrity but because of that she was thrown out of the “circle”. Won’t even bother to comment on Suzie. I don’t say this very often but someone needs to pray for her.

  • fefe

    I agree kirsten! Especially on throwing rocks and hiding her hands and never standing up for what’s right. Since she wanted to participate in this show, I thought her role would be the dignified one and she never is.

  • mamareese

    Um she is a guilty party as well….all this drama season after season signs her paycheck. She should leave since she “prides” herself on being a lady and drama free….the show’s enviroment and the many falls out are not condusive to her belief…..please birds of a feather…….just saying.