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Shaq Loses Deputy Status

shaquille_oneal_badge_2.jpgShaquille O'Neal will lose his special deputy's badge in Maricopa County because of language he used in a rap video that mocks former teammate Kobe Bryant.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the Phoenix Suns center's use of a racially derogatory word and other foul language left him no choice. Arpaio made Shaq a special deputy in 2006 and promoted him to colonel of his largely ceremonial posse later that year.

"I want his two badges back," Arpaio told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "Because if any one of my deputies did something like this, they're fired. I don't condone this type of racial conduct."

Shaq was seen in a video posted on the celebrity news and gossip Web site TMZ.com rapping that "Kobe couldn't do without me." O'Neal skewers the Lakers' star, with whom he won three straight NBA titles from 2000-2002 while with Los Angeles, for not being able to win a championship without him.

"I was freestyling. That's all. It was all done in fun. Nothing serious whatsoever," O'Neal told ESPN.com Monday. A call to the Suns on Tuesday seeking comment from O'Neal was referred to his public relations firm, which didn't immediately respond.

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