The Latino Rebels’ Top 5 Posts of Our First Year: “Gracias, Shaq”

As we celebrate our first year today, we wanted to list our top 5 posts in terms of visits and hits. Here we go.

Post #5: On the 17th Anniversary of Her Death, We Share Our Favorite Selena Songs

We posted this piece on March 31, 2012. In 24 hours, it got over 4,000 hots. Selena still resonates with people. No surprise there.

Post #4: Comedian Katt Williams Lashes Insults at Mexicans During Phoenix Show

We first posted this story on August 29, 2011. It was one of the first stories we did that got a ton of reaction. In fact, we still get hits even now. Overall, the piece has gotten over 4,500 hits. And Katt Williams is still a tool.

Post #3: VIDEO OF THE DAY (July, 3 2011): CYPRESS HILL and “Insane in the Membrane”

We posted this video link on July 3 because we LOVE Cypress Hill. Looks like others do as well. 6,032 hits as of today, and it keeps going and going.

Post #2: As Fast As It Went Viral, the #StopKony and #Kony2012 Questions Begin to Emerge

This post was published on March 9, 2012, just a day after the Kony 2012 viral phenomenon. We started asking questions about the campaign, and this post was shared around the globe. Over 8,400 hits since then.

Post #1: La Nueva 94 Reports that Shaquille O’Neal Insults Puerto Rico At All-Star Game Weekend

We reported this story on February 27, 2012, and since then it has gotten over 10,300 hits. We continue to ask Shaq for comment, since it is clear from us that he did crap on Puerto Rico that night. He doesn't want to speak to us. That's cool. We'll keep asking.


While @NBA Is Quiet About @SHAQ Puerto Rican Comments, “Latino” Month Fails #NoMames

Granted, Shaquille O'Neal is no longer an active player in the NBA, he is an analyst for TNT, but nonetheless he was named of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players and with confirmation that he indeed said SOMETHING disparaging against Puerto Rico during All-Star Weekend in Orlando, we have been asking for the NBA to comment about the situation.

Of course, we have gotten the silent treatment so far, just like we have had from TNT and Shaq. As independent journalists, we know that people don't need to contact us back, yet that doesn't mean that we won't stop covering the story, and for those who think we are just "beating a dead horse," we understand. Media outlets get that all the time, and if the story doesn't interest you as a reader, that is fine. It does, however, interest us because of the following reasons:

  • Shaq is pretty high-profile still and we would have stopped covering the story but when Shaq's public tweets and videos basically denied the allegations, we decided to do a little more digging and reporting. The point is that we have been asking Shaq for clarification via Twitter for about a week, and it's cool that he doesn't answer, it's his right to ignore us. However, there are questions that linger for us: In his tweets on February 26, he said that reporter was asking for a photograph and in his video an hour later, he said  the reporter was asking for an autograph
  • The Puerto Rican market is NBA mad. It is arguably the most popular professional sports league on the island. Puerto Ricans have a long and proud history of basketball accomplishments and when their native sons (like JJ Barea) win titles, the entire island celebrates with pride. The NBA is big on the island and wouldn't you think that Shaq, TNT, and the NBA be aware of that? 
  • As for the video, Shaq ended it with "Mamitas lindas, dame besos," as his way of saying he loves Puerto Rico. Was it a joke? Why go there? Why does that mean?
  • And when we heard from anonymous sources that Shaq was going to publicly apologize on TNT last Thursday, we tried to confirm that information. That information was not confirmed, yet when we reached out to another witness to the event on Twitter, we started to see that SOMETHING did indeed happen. We just want Shaq to clarify what his side of the story here, and ask how social media has helped (or hurt) him share that story. Again, he has every right to say no to us, and that is fine. But everything we reported about this story is either PUBLIC (from tweets, video, published reports) or from reporting we did on this. Journalism 101, although we are pretty sure Shaq would call us "yellow journalists." (We have been called worse.)

Ironically, all this Shaq and Puerto Rican fiasco comes at a time when the NBA is promoting its' yearly "Noche Latina" campaign, which as our friends at Tu Vez so eloquently said, appears to just be another lame attempt to segregate the US Latino consumer market and make us all feel "special" and "different." Granted, there is something cool about sports jerseys that say Los Lakers and El Heat, but when it is segegated and made "special," we just want to roll our eyes and sake our collective heads. For that the NBA earns a #NoMames award because it misses the key point about all this (see our manifesto). Like Tu Vez says:

To further honor Hispanic fans and players during Noche Latina games, participating teams will host in-arena Latin-themed activities, including music, performances, and giveaways. As the league’s marquee program under the éne•bé•a platform, Noche Latina events will also be supported with television and radio advertising on both English- and Spanish-language media across the country as well as on the league’s Spanish-language Web site,, and social media pages.

In essence, they’re employing the same strategy the NFL used to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. Throw some mariachi and salsa dancers on the court, have the PA system play some “La Cucaracha” during time out breaks, and call it a day. Mission accomplished.

Look, we get it that the NBA is trying to court the ever-growing Latino demographic. But their current course of action is reductive of Latin American culture and history, condescending, and even absurd. And we’re not the ones who think that either. The image below is a screen grab from  The Onion that perfectly encapsulates the inanity of the league’s campaign:

The Onion

The NBA’s marketing department should be in contention for Latino Rebels‘ #NoMames award. But instead of just writing and complaining about it, we’re taking a more productive approach. That’s why we’re creating an online petition to get the NBA to stop their current “Noche Latina” outreach campaign. Let the league know that not only do you not care for this dumb P.R. stunt, but that you find it counterproductive to their mission by signing our petition below.



English Translation of Tab Deportes’ Reactions to Statements Made by Mr. Shaquille O’Neal

Here is the English translation done by editors of the original Spanish statement from TAB Deportes regarding disparaging remarks made by TNT Sports analyst Shaquille O'Neal:

In recent days our news of Mr. Shaquille O'Neal, one of the top 50 NBA players ever, has traveled the world. Tiro Al Blanco (TAB) began some 18 months ago and thanks to God, it has enjoyed steady growth, earning the respect and credibility of many. When TAB's production crew conducted its work plan to cover the entire weekend in the NBA in the city of Orlando, Florida, it was decided we would ask players to give a "shout out" to Puerto Rico and our programming. The reason for this is because we are starting a new phase for TAB, with new magazines and weekly televised sports shows of individual sports. This new content will be become part of the Puerto Rico Sports Networks and Tiro Al Blanco will be producing the,.

Thanks to God, all the athletes that we interviewed gave us that opportunity, all with the exception of LeBron James, the guard for the Miami Heat. Mr. James respectfully express to our own Emilio Pérez that we should talk with his agent to produced the shout out that we asked for. This is the first time that TAB has reported this and at no time did Mr. James treat us negatively. Mr. James is arguably one of the most significant figures in the NBA today.

Soon we will be able to offer a visual of several NBA stars giving a shout out to Puerto Rico and to TAB.

Our intention here was not to create a "Media Tour" of this news with O'Neal, but to inform our fans of TAB Nation of what happened. Emilio Pérez said this very same thing on the radio this weekHad we not reported this news, we would have been guilty of disrespectful silence by not defending one of our founders and even more for not defending Puerto Rico and the entire Latin American community.Our professionalism and credibility speaks for itself.

It is for this reason we have the respect of our peers and major media figures in Puerto Rico and internationally. We appreciate all the support extended to us and we know that this support will continue. We understand that everyone has a right to opinions that differ from ours and respect that. Our website is supported by income from our sponsors and for that reason it has some applications to generate revenue to it. Without them we could not afford the travel and operating expenses for TAB.

Since our beginning we have had the support of our brothers at El Despelote (the top morning radio program in Puerto Rico) of La Nueva 94, Cerrando la Tarde on Nueva Vida 97.7, WIPR on Máxima 940 AM (where they transmit the TAB Show every Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 8 pm) and the Puerto Rico Sport Network, where we are working together with the the sports channel to provide with 24 hours of local and international programming (with rights).

Tiro Al Blanco reacciona a declaraciones del Sr. Shaquille O’ Neill

Le pasamos el sguiente comunicado de TAB Deportes:

En los pasados días nuestra noticia del Sr. Shaquille O'Neal, uno de los mejores 50 jugadores de la NBA, ha recorrido el mundo entero. Tiro al Blanco (TAB) comenzó hace algunos 18 meses y a Dios gracias, ha tenido un crecimiento constante, ganándonos el respeto y la credibilidad de muchos. Cuando la producción de TAB realizó su plan de trabajo para cubrir todo el fin de semana de la NBA en la ciudad de Orlando, Florida, se decidió que pediríamos un saludo para Puerto Rico y nuestros programas. La razón de esto es porque comenzamos con una nueva etapa en TAB, las revistas deportivas semanales televisadas de deportes individuales. Estas revistas deportivas serán transmitidas por Puerto Rico Sports Networks en Producción Asociada con Tiro Al Blanco.
A Dios gracias, todos los atletas que pudimos entrevistar nos concedieron dicha oportunidad, todos con la excepción de LeBron James, escolta de los Miami Heat. El Sr. James respetuosamente le expreso a nuestro Emilio Pérez que tendríamos que hablar con su agente para poder realizar el saludo que se le pidió. En ningún momento TAB ha divulgado dicho suceso o ha dialogado de manera negativa ante el Sr. James, posiblemente una de las figuras mas significativas de la NBA hoy dia.
Pronto podremos ofreceles unos visuales de varias Estrellas de la NBA realizando un saludo a Puerto Rico y TAB.
Nuestra intención no es,  crear un "Media Tour" de esta noticia, sino informarle a nuestra fanaticada conocida como TAB Nation lo sucedido. Emiio Pérez lo dijo en la radio esta semana. De no haber realizado dicha noticia fuéramos culpables de callar una falta de respeto a uno de nuestros fundadores y más aun a nuestro Puerto Rico y por ende la comunidad Latino Americana. Nuestro profesionalismo y credibilidad habla por si solos.
Es por tal razón que tenemos el respeto de nuestros homólogos y grandes figuras de los medios en Puerto Rico e Internacionalmente. Agradecemos todo el apoyo que se nos ha brindado y sabemos que se nos continuará brindando. Entendemos que todos tienen derechos a opiniones que difieran de la nuestra y las respetamos. Nuestra página de internet es sustentada con ingresos de nuestros auspiciadores y es por tal razón que tiene unas aplicaciones para generar ingresos a la misma. Sin éstas no pudiesemos costear los viajes y gastos de TAB.
Desde nuestros comienzos hemos tenido el apoyo de nuestros hermanos de El Despelote (programa número uno en las mañanas en Puerto Rico) de la Nueva 94, al igual que Cerrando la Tarde por Nueva Vida 97.7 y WIPR con Máxima 940 AM (donde transmitimos TAB Sport Show todos los sábados y domingos de 6 a 8 pm) y Puerto Rico Sport Network donde estamos desarollando en conjunto el canal de deportes con 24 horas de programación local e internacional (con los derechos).

Other Witness to @SHAQ #PuertoRico Controversy Confirms Disparaging Remarks

We had unconfirmed rumors from anonymous sources that last night TNT analyst Shaquille O'Neal was going to offer a public apology about alleged disparaging remarks he made to reporter Emilio Pérez about Puerto Rico during All-Star Game Weekend in Orlando. He did not say anything, and now questions are spiraling about whether the Tiro Al Banco report is true and can be corroborated.

These are comments by O'Neal reported by both TAB and La Nueva 94 on February 26:

“No necesito nuevos fanáticos, Yo tengo ya suficiente dinero en el banco…y de hecho, qué rayos es Puerto Rico… si solo es un simple lugar que ocupa poco más de ¼ de pulgada en el mapa. No me interesan y no me afectan”. [ED: OUR ROUGH TRANSLATION OF SPANISH] “I don't need new fans. I have enough money in the bank… and in fact, where the hell is Puerto Rico… it is just a simple place that takes up just ¼ of an inch on a map. They do not interest me and they don't affect me.”

One thing to explore is the following tweet by @Brhitney, which was posted on February 26, the night when the alleged incident occurred. According to her timeline, Brhitney Decamps was at the Amway Center in Orlando and besides tweeting about the event, she also tweeted the following:

When we asked her profile for a follow-up this morning, she tweeted us back immediately. She is now the second person, besides Pérez, to confirm that Shaq said something disparaging about Puerto Rico.

We spoke with Brhitney over the phone and she told us the following:

"I was just walking towards where I saw the group of people and I heard them talking, I couldn't hear very well until I got there. But then I just heard Shaq saying, 'Have you even seen Puerto Rico, it's about a quarter inch, look it up on Google Earth. And he was saying that as Emilio was leaving, so that's the only thing I heard."

There are now two confirmations of the incident and that indeed Shaq said something. We will be following up with more information soon.

What Will @Shaq Say Tonight on @NBAonTNT? Will He Address Puerto Rican Controversy?

Two days ago, the Twitter feed of former NBA star and current TNT Sports analyst Shaquille O'Neal hinted on Twitter that he might address the surrounding controversy regarding an encounter with a Puerto Rican sports reporter during All-Star Weekend in Orlando. Today on Twitter, after several tweets late Sunday night and more tweets on Tuesday about the incident with Emilio Pérez of @tabpr, Shaq is tweeting about cognac and has not addressed the story at all.

Tonight, Shaq will be on the air with the rest of the NBA on TNT crew. Will this be the time to address his alleged actions or will he ignore them? Will he add more to his denouncement of "yellow journalism" or will he be quiet about it and just talk basketball? Since Shaq is an employee of a private media company, it would be perplexing to us that he just sweeps this under the rug, but who knows? We reached out to TNT Sports for comment about Shaq's Tuesday tweet, but they never returned out call, and after several tweets to Shaq for clarification, we didn't get an answer either.

All that we have is a tweet from Tuesday. We will see. TNT begins it NBA broadcast tonight at 8 pm EST. We wonder if most of Puerto Rico will be watching.

On Twitter, @SHAQ Denounces “Yellow Journalism”—Might “Say Something” on @NBAonTNT

TNT Sports analyst and former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal returned to Twitter today to address the ongoing controversy surrounding alleged comments that he made against Puerto Rico to a sports reporter from the island's Tiro Al Blanco sports show. Late Sunday night, Shaq was actively tweeting and denying reports from TAB's Emilio Pérez. After posting a video early Monday morning, Shaq's Twitter account was silent until earlier this afternoon when he posted the following tweets:


Who knows where this goes, but it is clear from O'Neal's tweets that he is denying the story altogether now. His previous tweets late Sunday night indicated that an encounter with Pérez did occur. On Sunday night, O'Neal referred to Pérez as a "fat obnoxious writer" who was asking for a photograph. Later that night, on his video below, O'Neal had suggested that Pérez wanted an autograph. After the video, Shaq did not tweet until later this afternoon today. (We did reach out to Shaq via Twitter for a comment. If he does respond to us, we will share.)

The @SHAQ Puerto Rico Controversy: English Summary from Emilio Pérez of @tabpr with @LaNueveCuatro

The following is ROUGH ENGLISH TRANSCRIPT and OVERALL SUMMARY of the interview between Rocky the Kid (@rockythekid), Billy Forquet and Emilio Pérez of @tabpr yesterday morning on El Despelote on La Nueva 94 in Puerto Rico. Pérez was the reporter who had an alleged incident with TNT analyst Shaquille O'Neal, Pérez claims that Shaq said disparaging comments about Puerto Rico and later personally attacked him on Twitter.

El Despelote is a comedy morning-drive talk show with a very distinct Puerto Rican vibe, and for part of the segment has the two DJs made fun of Shaq, but Pérez didn't play the humor game but said that he is not going to turn this into a media circus, he has no personal beef with O'Neal, and that a press release about the incident will be shared by TABPR and sent to TNT and other outlets. 

Here is the summary (it is not a literal translation, but it captures Pérez's comments):

The segment begins with Es Despelote presenting a summary saying that Emilio asked for a photo of Shaquille O’Neal, but when O’Neal said no, Emilio told his photographer in Spanish that it wasn’t going to happen and O’Neal thought that Emilio was talking about them in Spanish. O’Neal then presented his video apology

Emilio: That Shaq video happened last night after the All-Star and O’Neal is already contradicting himself, saying I was asking for an autograph but an hour before on Twitter O’Neal tweeted that I had asked him for a photograph. He had changed his story already. Everyone who covers the NBA knows that no reporter is allowed to ask any player any autograph, according to NBA media policies very clearly too. You can ask for a photo but in a press conference setting but you can ask for a photo. [Voice of Shaq saying Dame Besos]

But here is the issue and this is what Shaquille O’Neal will try to spin: Shaquille O’Neal is no longer an NBA player, he is an analyst, he is part of the press, he is a press collaborator, a communicator, just like I am a member of the press. And this was a request among colleagues, this wasn’t a groupie request, and I have experienced this before, having made similar requests. This attack about me being an idiot just shows the class of gentleman that he is, he is denying all this. But he is not denying that he was with me, or that he was talking with me and he won’t apologize about his comments about Puerto Rico. He just says to ask Carlos Arroyo to prove how much he loves Puerto Rico, etc. etc. And of course, there weren’t video recorders when we met at Amway Center or a recording of what we discussed, etc. etc. Maybe except for the security cameras, he was safe in this encounter.

It was in the backstage area of Amway Center. He was with his two bodyguards and a group, and I was with a group of about nine Puerto Rican reporters who were covering the event and they were all witnesses to the incident.  One of the reasons why I approached him, calmly, was that we were taking photos of the event and of other people and then I thought that a photo of O’Neal for Puerto Rico would have been excellent. I told that to the photographer and I asked the bodyguard for permission and then the bodyguard said, sure, ask him, so he let me ask him.  Hey, I understand that he could just have said, "Sir, not right now, maybe some other time," but he didn’t say that and the attack was personal and the comments he made against Puerto Rico had to be shared, they just had to, no matter the consequences, they had to be shared.

I understand that he has a “beef” against me after what he tweeted and recorded, and I am not going to go there. If I were him, I would have done the same thing, I guess. But the issue were his comments against Puerto Rico.

Well, you have to remember that the whole Jeremy Lin headline thing in ESPN and the context of all this. Yesterday, a lot of the press thought it he might have a problem now with TNT. TNT does have TNT en español and they covered the story and presented both sides of the story and this affects not only the Puerto Rican community but also the entire Latino community and knowing Shaq’s history, it was surprising to see what he recorded. He could have handled it differently.

We are going to write a press release to TNT about all this and provide a record of what happened. But this will not be a media tour (no Comay, other Puerto Rican outlets). It happened and we won't attack him back. And we will not make a big spectacle of this, but we will share the release. We know we are young and we haven’t been doing this for a long time, but we are honest about this. It is the responsible thing to do.

Shaquille O’Neal did not touch me at all. Nothing like that happened.

Rocky The Kid then proceeded to post a joke tweet with a picture of Shaq and a panda bear (representing Emilio). Here is what he posted, as a joke. Pérez chuckled a bit, but didn't comment that much about the joke tweet. The tweet says something to this effect: "Hey, Emilio, a photo was taken of you with Shaq. Hahahahaha."

La Nueva 94 Uploads the Spanish Radio Broadcast of @SHAQ Puerto Rican Controversy

Here is the broadcast segment from Monday morning's "El Despelote" show on la Nueva 94 in Puerto Rico. The broadcast is in Spanish, and the hosts interview Emilio Pérez, the reporter from Tiro al Blanco who describes his encounter with Shaquille O'Neal during the NBA's All-Star Weekend in Orlando.

We will have an English transcript tomorrow of the key moments, but we wanted to run the raw Spanish broadcast first, as is.

La Nueva 94 Reports that Shaquille O’Neal Insults Puerto Rico At All-Star Game Weekend

A report out of La Nueva 94 in Puerto Rico states that ex-NBA star and TNT personality Shaquille O'Neal had some choice words for the island, during NBA All-Star Game festivities this weekend in Orlando.

This is what La Nueva 94 is claiming  that Shaq said to Emilio Pérez, a Puerto Rican sports talk personality of the Tiro al Blanco (TAB) show. We are running the quote that La Nueva 94 (which is parts of the same media company that runs TAB) posted in Spanish, and have provided an English translation:

“No necesito nuevos fanáticos, Yo tengo ya suficiente dinero en el banco…y de hecho, qué rayos es Puerto Rico… si solo es un simple lugar que ocupa poco más de ¼ de pulgada en el mapa. No me interesan y no me afectan”.


“I don't need new fans. I have enough money in the bank… and in fact, where the hell is Puerto Rico… it is just a simple place that takes up just ¼ of an inch on a map. They do not interest me and they don't affect me.

As of this morning, El Despelote from La Nueva 94 is standing by its story, although its original post lacks content and details. The site for Tiro al Blanco, TabDeportes (which is ad-sponsored and annoying to navigate), has a more detailed report. Apparently, according to TAB, Pérez spotted O'Neal at the Amway Center and asked a bodyguard to see if Pérez could take a photo of O'Neal for Shaq's fans in Puerto Rico. The bodyguard was friendly to Pérez, but according to the TAB report, Shaq was not.

Once Pérez got close to O'Neal, Shaq reportedly told Pérez that a photo was not going to happen, and after he said it again, Pérez told him that O'Neal has many fans in Puerto Rico and he might lose some of those fans because of his attitude. The report below then goes on to say that O'Neal made fun of Pérez's appearance and then said what La Nueva reported. (FYI: A PDF copy of the report in Spanish can be downloaded here through

O'Neal's latest tweets confirm that an incident did occur with Pérez, whom Shaq described as a "fat obnoxious writer." O'Neal has denied pretty emphatically that Pérez's story is accurate. After facing countless replies about the story on Twitter, O'Neal did quick video, where he told people to not believe everything they read and said, "Mamita linda, dame besos" (Sweet honey, give me kisses) in Spanish.

In addition, raises some good questions about, which hits you up with pop-up ads if you visit the site. Raúl does a great job showing you more about TabDeportes original site:

The site no longer contains annoying ad clicks. They updated the page around 2pm EST today.

Also, @HectorCruzESPN tweeted out the original story last night around 1 am EST, saying in Spanish that "we deplore everything that happened between Shaquille O'Neal and the @TABPR sports page from Puerto Rico." Since then, the tweet no longer appears on Cruz's stream.