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Shaq Says He Was Just A Paid Spokesperson For FTX And Nothing Else

January 5, 2023 World Blockchain

Shaquille O’Neal intends to be straightforward: He doesn’t trust cryptocurrency and never has.

This comes after already being named in a class-action lawsuit against now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX for advertising the company in a promotional video.
In an interview, the 50-year-old entrepreneur and former Basketball player discussed his other entrepreneurial venture while responding to questions about his association with FTX.

Shaq has a history of investing in firms that he promotes, such as his current venture, Shaq’s Fun House. Those investments are mostly successful, Shaq has admitted he has earned more off the court than he did as an NBA star. However, when it comes to FTX, he claims he was merely a celebrity in an advertisement.

FTX collapse ensnares celeb investors
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with masterminding a “devious” years-long theft in which he misappropriated client funds to personally profit himself and his investment firm, Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried was detained by Bahamas police, which will undoubtedly lead to extradition and prosecution in the United States. Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York will charge him with at least eight counts.

Since the company went bankrupt, clients are unable to make a withdrawal from FTX. According to a bankruptcy filing, up to one million creditors are uncertain whether they will ever see their funds again.
The class-action lawsuit against Shaq is a different legal proceeding from the federal government’s charges. It claims that FTX spokespersons “either operated, endorsed, aided in, or actually involved” in a scheme to “vigorously promote” FTX

Other sportsmen and famous personalities from FTX advertisements were also named in the lawsuit, such as Steph Curry, Tom Brady, and comedian Larry David. Texas is now looking into some famous personalities and FTX endorsers for potential violations of state securities laws.

The retired basketball player’s commercial came as a surprise, as he had previously stated that he was deliberately ignoring cryptocurrency.
I don’t understand it, so I’ll probably avoid it until I fully comprehend what it is, he said, adding, From my observation, it’s too appealing to be true.
Shaq stated last year that he had turned down promotional deals from numerous crypto companies.

I always get these companies that say, ‘Hey, we’ll give you $900,000 in crypto to tweet,'” Shaq explained.

But even so, in late 2021, Shaq changed his Twitter display names to “SHAQ.ETH” and “SHAQ.SOL” to endorse NFT designs operated by the Ethereum and Solana cryptocurrency platforms, respectively

“I’m thrilled to be working with FTX to make cryptocurrency more available to all,” Shaq said in the June commercial. “I’m completely committed.”
Today, Shaq mentions his relationship with Curry as one of the reasons he agreed to show up in the commercial.
Shaq said in the commercial that he monitored his FTX account every day. When asked if he is still optimistic about cryptocurrency, he responds simply: “No.”

Everyone knows I’m a man of principle, Shaq says. “I have nothing to cover up. If I was extremely involved, I would be shouting, ‘Hey,’ but I was only a paid spokesperson.”
It’s unknown how much Shaq earned from his FTX sponsorship deal.

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