Esports players should be considered as athletes, according to Shaquille O'Neal

Esports players should be considered as athletes, according to Shaquille O'Neal ...

Although many believe that athletes who compete in more traditional sports should be esports pros, many argue that their efforts should be as widespread as athletes. The other side of the argument is that some people consider an "athlete" to be someone who works extremely hard physically. It''s a wreakful debate, and now NBA legend Shaquille O''Neal has had his side.

Jake Lucky, the founder of Full Squad Gaming, recently interviewed Shaq and asked him what side of the argument he focuses. Shaq does not believe esports players should be considered athletes, pointing out that he believes esports players have the same mental strength as more traditional atheletes and are therefore equally acceptable.

"Athlete means different things," Shaq says, pointing to his head. "15 percent of the game is physical and everything else is mental, so the things that you guys go through, that''s why you guys don''t have a long "life shelf." You know, it''s three to five years, five to six years, and yes, you guys are athletes. I believe you, because I''m not capable of doing what you do."

Shaq Versus, a reality television series in which he would compete against some of the world''s finest athletes at their own sport, is a testament to his experience swimming against Michael Phelps and racing against Dale Earnhardt, which led him to believe that being an athlete is more of a psychological challenge than a physical one.

Shaq''s opinion will not be enough to put the question to the test, but at least esports players know that they have one of the NBA''s greatest ever players on their court.