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ESPN to Apologize
Over Shaq Ad

ESPN to Apologize
Over Shaq Ad

ESPN says it will retire an ad that features Shaquille O'Neal and sports commentator Mike Breen after receiving pressure from several advocacy groups including GLAAD and the HRC.

ESPN removed a promotional ad featuring Shaquille O'Neal and sports commentator Mike Breen, saying that it was never the network's intent for the spot "to be offensive to anyone or any community of people."

In response to lobbying by organizations like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign, as well as viewers who voiced outrage, ESPN pulled the homophobic promo. The spot shows O'Neal rejecting a "fist kiss" -- or fist bump -- from Breen. After Breen called it a "fist kiss," O'Neal moves away from Breen on the couch and says, "No fist kiss, no fist love, no fist hump. None of that. You're a weirdo, man. Stay over there. Fist kiss. Disgusting."

"Our intent is to send a positive message about the camaraderie of sports and to do so as creatively as we can," the network said in a statement. "However, we understand your perspective on this ad and would like to apologize to the members of the gay community." (Michelle Garcia,

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