Shaq Threw Joy Behar Out of His Restaurant and Banned Her for Life?

Claim:

Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal threw “The View” television co-host Joy Behar out of his restaurant and banned her for life.

On July 8, 2024, the Facebook page The Patriots Lovers posted a meme claiming former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal threw “The View” co-host Joy Behar out of one of his restaurants. The meme read, “Shaq Throws Joy Behar Out Of His Restaurant, Bans Her For Life, ‘Keep Your Toxicity Out.’” The post displayed over 16,000 reactions, 1,600 comments and 1,200 shares.

A meme claimed Shaquille O'Neal threw Joy Behar out of one of his restaurants and banned her for life.

A search of Facebook resulted in plenty of examples of users publicly sharing the same rumor.

The first comment under the Facebook post linked users to an article on the SpaceXMania.com website. An author with the website published the story on April 12 with the headline, “Breaking: Shaq Ejects Joy Behar From His Big Chicken Eatery, ‘Keep Your Toxicity Out.’”

The article began as follows:

In a surprising turn of events at Shaquille O’Neal’s renowned Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, a visit by television host Joy Behar took an unexpected turn, resulting in Behar being asked to leave by none other than the basketball legend himself. The incident, which unfolded amid discussions about politics and social issues, sparked debates about free speech, public decorum, and the responsibilities of restaurant owners in managing customer interactions.

Eyewitnesses recount that tensions began to rise when Behar initiated discussions on divisive political topics with fellow patrons. While some engaged in spirited debate, others felt uncomfortable with the escalating discourse. Shaquille O’Neal, who was present at the restaurant during the incident, intervened to diffuse the situation and maintain a harmonious environment for all guests.

Shaq’s decision to ask Behar to leave was rooted in his commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive atmosphere at his establishment. In a subsequent statement, Shaq emphasized that the goal of Big Chicken is to provide a welcoming space where people from all walks of life can enjoy a meal without feeling subjected to contentious conversations.

However, this story was not true. SpaceXMania.com is a website describing some of its output as satirical in nature, both on its “About Us” page and as a label above articles. Further, the meme posted on Facebook featured a watermark displaying the word “satire.”

For further reading, we previously reported about a rumor claiming “The View” hit its lowest ratings in TV history after a May 2024 episode featuring Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

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