Jacinta Price slams Anthony Albanese over Shaquille O’Neal stunt

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Senator Jacinta Price has blasted the Prime Minister for his ‘petty political stunt’ after he met basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal to discuss the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.¬†

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with O’Neal after the NBA legend requested a meeting in Sydney to learn more about the referendum.

In a newsletter on Friday, Country Liberals Senator Jacinta Price slammed Albanese for ‘trotting out an African American multi-millionaire’ instead of listening to the Indigenous voices already in Parliament.¬†¬†

‘Albo couldn’t resist the opportunity to do a presser with a celebrity like O’Neal,’ Ms Price wrote.¬†‘In his tiny little mind he probably couldn’t see the difference between a multi-millionaire African American basketballer and Aboriginal Australians living in remote and rural Australia.

Indigenous Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price (pictured) has slammed Albanese as a 'pathetic, attention-seeking, virtue-signalling' after a publicity stunt involving former NBA star Shaquille O'Neil to win votes for his Voice referendum

Indigenous Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price (pictured) has slammed the PM for a ‘petty political stunt’ the publicity stunt involving former NBA star Shaquille O’Neil¬†to win votes for his Voice referendum

Ms Price urged the Prime Minister to listen to Indigenous Australians already in parliament, lobby groups and head to remote communities to hear directly from them.   

‘There are REAL Aussies facing REAL problems that need REAL solutions, they don’t need such shallowness with no substantive plans when they’re being faced with such serious issues,’ Ms Price added.¬†

‘They don’t need an Indigenous Voice handpicked by the government, and they don’t need an American celebrity’s voice.

‘Indigenous Australians have their own voices, they are many and varied and you should start listening to them.’

The Indigenous Senator labelled Albanese as a ‘pathetic, attention-seeking, virtue-signalling PM’ and noted he was missing from Shaq’s Australian highlight’s clip.¬†

The newsletter ended with a postscript followed by the famous ‘surprised Shaq’ meme.¬†

‘P.S.¬†When you realise you were just used to implement racial division in another country’s constitution,’ Ms Price wrote.¬†¬†

MS Price, the former deputy mayor of Alice Springs, was elected at the May 21 poll for the Northern Territory as a member of the Country Liberal Party and has openly criticised the government’s Indigenous policies.¬†

The Aboriginal senator donned a traditional headdress and rallied against what she called ‘handouts’ and ‘symbolic recognition’ for Indigenous Australians in her first speech to Parliament on July 27.¬†

On August 24, O’Neil burst into the PM’s press conference with his imposing 216cm frame dwarfing Mr Albanese, who stands at 173cm.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with the basketball legend after he requested a meeting in Sydney to learn more about the referendum on the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament (pictured)

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with the basketball legend after he requested a meeting in Sydney to learn more about the referendum on the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament (pictured)

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with the basketball legend after he requested a meeting in Sydney to learn more about the referendum on the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament (pictured)

The former NBA star was supposed to pledge his support for the referendum but instead delivered a couple of vague platitudes and quickly left (pictured, Shaquille O'Neal greeting Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney)

The former NBA star was supposed to pledge his support for the referendum but instead delivered a couple of vague platitudes and quickly left (pictured, Shaquille O'Neal greeting Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney)

The former NBA star was supposed to pledge his support for the referendum but instead delivered a couple of vague platitudes and quickly left (pictured, Shaquille O’Neal greeting¬†Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney)

Mr Albanese revealed he had given O'Neal a Rabbitohs jumper and in return, Shaq had given his son Nathan an LA Lakers shirt (pictured)

Mr Albanese revealed he had given O'Neal a Rabbitohs jumper and in return, Shaq had given his son Nathan an LA Lakers shirt (pictured)

Mr Albanese revealed he had given O’Neal a Rabbitohs jumper and in return, Shaq had given his son Nathan an LA Lakers shirt (pictured)

The towering basketball greeted the PM before gently pulling the hand of Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney to touch his forehead in a strange exchange.

‘Hello Australia, nice to see you,’ he told the press, before telling the PM and Senator Burney: Congratulations to you guys and I want you to know Shaq loves Australia, all right?’

The former NBA star was supposed to pledge his support for the referendum but instead delivered a couple of vague platitudes and quickly left. 

He turned and left the room within 10 seconds of arriving, pausing only to remind the PM he would need him to ‘give him that clearance¬†too’ to take home the boomerangs he had earlier been presented with.

The PM insisted the meeting with the basketball star had been a huge success, telling media later: ‘It was a very positive conversation. He is interested in this country, his second visit to Australia.

‘He knows that we are a warm and generous people, and he wanted to inform himself about what this [Voice] debate was about… by engaging directly with the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and myself as the Prime Minister.

‘It is a really positive discussion about the way that Australia is seen in the world.’

Albanese said he hoped the NBA legend will lend his profile to promoting a campaign to support the referendum.

Mr Albanese revealed he had given O’Neal a Rabbitohs jumper and in return, Shaq had given his son Nathan an LA Lakers shirt.

Ms Price labelled Albanese as a 'pathetic, attention-seeking, virtue-signalling PM' and ended the newsletter with a postscript followed by the famous 'surprised Shaq' meme (pictured)

Ms Price labelled Albanese as a 'pathetic, attention-seeking, virtue-signalling PM' and ended the newsletter with a postscript followed by the famous 'surprised Shaq' meme (pictured)

Ms Price labelled Albanese as a ‘pathetic, attention-seeking, virtue-signalling PM’ and ended the newsletter with a postscript followed by the famous ‘surprised Shaq’ meme (pictured)

Ms Price has openly criticised the government's Indigenous policies. In in her first speech to Parliament donned a traditional headdress (pictured) and rallied against what she called 'handouts' and 'symbolic recognition' for Indigenous Australians

Ms Price has openly criticised the government's Indigenous policies. In in her first speech to Parliament donned a traditional headdress (pictured) and rallied against what she called 'handouts' and 'symbolic recognition' for Indigenous Australians

Ms Price has openly criticised the government’s Indigenous policies. In¬†in her first speech to Parliament¬†donned a traditional headdress (pictured) and rallied against what she called ‘handouts’ and ‘symbolic recognition’ for Indigenous Australians

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said she was ‘really pleased’ and ‘proud’ that Shaq had requested a meeting with the Prime Minister to specifically talk about the referendum plans.¬†

‘He said it was a noble task, that it was important,’ Ms Burney said.¬†

‘The most significant thing in what the Prime Minister has said is that we need to build a broad-based support across the country for a referendum change. It’s not easy in Australia. We all know that.

‘And I think having Shaquille O’Neal as part of a campaign is important, but it is also extremely important that we build support across the community.

‘It was just so wonderful to meet him and to see that there is international interest from people like Mr O’Neal in relation to the project that we have under way about the referendum.’

The four-time NBA champion was in Australia for a series of entrepreneurial talks in Melbourne and Sydney. 

On Thursday, fans were given an intimate and uncensored question and answer session with the star called La Trobe Financial Presents: An Evening with Shaquille O’Neal.

His trip mixed business with pleasure as he also brought his musical alter ego DJ Diesel to a Melbourne nightclub.