Shaq Once Rejected a Deal With Starbucks Because ‘Black People Don’t Drink Coffee’

by September 16, 2015

Shaquille O’Neal has certainly made his fair share of money through the years, both on and off the court. But even Superman is willing to admit he’s made mistakes—mistakes that might have cost him a whole lot more dough.

In an interview with Yahoo!, Shaq uncovered the worst business decision of his life: turning down a deal with Starbucks to break into the coffee industry. His reason for rejection at the time: “black people don’t drink coffee.”

Shaq recalled his conversation with Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, during the interview with Graham Besinger:

“Howard says, ‘Shaq, I want to give you the opportunity to go in with me and open up these Starbucks franchises in African-American communities.’ And I’m always a guy that, if I don’t believe in it, can’t do it. Will never do it. No amount of money can make me endorse something I’m not 100-percent behind. So I looked the great Howard Schultz in the face, and I said, ‘Black people don’t drink coffee, sir. I don’t think it’s gonna work.’ You should’ve seen his face.”