Shaq Passed On a Multi-Million Dollar Deal with Starbucks Because "Black People Don't Drink Coffee"
O’Neal once told Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz he " thought it was a white person’s drink."
Originally published by First We Feast
When you’re as successful as basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, endorsement deals line up at your doorstep.
When Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz decided he wanted to expand his line of coffee houses to African-American communities, Schultz reached out to Shaq to help him open up the franchises.
Unfortunately for Schultz, Shaq wasn’t interested. In a recent episode of In Depth With Graham Bensinger, the former Los Angeles Laker explains that he would “never do it” because “Black people don’t drink coffee.”
Shaq tells the story of the non-deal with Schultz,
“So Howard comes and says, ‘Shaq, I wanna give you the opportunity to go in with me and open up these Starbucks franchises in African American communities.’ And I’m always the guy that, if I don’t believe in it, I can’t do it. Will never do it. No amount of money can make me endorse something that I’m not 100 percent behind. So I looked in the great Howard Schultz’s face and said, ‘Black people don’t drink coffee, sir. I don’t think it’s gonna work.’ You should have seen his face. He was like…alright. We’re still good friends today, but that was one of my worst business decisions.”
O’Neal missed out on what could have likely been a multi-million dollar deal, and his logic surrounding coffee was slightly flawed. Still, you can’t help but respect a man that only endorses products he believes in.
[via Yahoo! News]