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NBA great Shaquille O'Neal has added his star power to efforts to enshrine an Indigenous Australian voice in the country's constitution.
O'Neal, who is currently visiting Australia, met with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney in Sydney on Saturday and agreed to make a series of videos in support of the referendum.
“I want you to know that Shaq loves Australia,” O'Neal said.
"I'm here in your country, whatever you need from me, just let me know."
@sydneymorningherald Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal joined Albo’s press conference this morning 🏀👀 #auspol ♬ original sound - smh
Credit: Sydney Morning Herald / TikTok
Albanese, who is aware broad-based support across the country is needed for referendum change, is attempting to drum up support by enlisting the help of sporting codes and stars to spread the referendum message, an RNZ report says.
"Shaq is someone who is well known to younger people, and one of the things we have been doing is trying to mobilise support for the Voice to Parliament by talking with sporting figures, said Albanese.
"We know that Mr O'Neal does a lot of work in the United States about social justice and lifting up people who are marginalised, including through sporting organisations. And we have had discussions with the AFL, NRL, etc."
Burney added, "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."
Albanese has expressed concern that the referendum could be derailed by divisive and racist commentary but points to the situation as a unifying opportunity for the country.