Shaquille O’neal Helps Shaniya Davis

November 27, 2009

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

NBA star Shaquille O’neal is planning to cover the cost for the funeral of Shaniya Davis, the five-year old who was recently kidnapped and murdered in a story that rocked the nation. The cost of the funeral is expected to be about $4,500. According to media reports, the child was killed by 29-year old Mario McNeill on the same day that she was found to be missing.

The Shaniya Davis case broke all of our hearts. Shaquille O’neal’s intervention was likely welcomed by the family, since funeral costs are usually another problem that families are not prepared to face after the death of a loved one.

Shaniya Davis’ mother, 25-year old Antoinette Davis, is charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution. Her case is a reminder of the dangers of drugs in America and opens a frightening door into the underworld of child prostitution. In spite of the fact that there are ways to save on the cost of a funeral, it is highly unlikely that Shaniya Davis’ mother had anything in place to pay the cost of her child’s burial. So, I give Shaq major "props" for stepping up to the plate, since we all know that it takes a village to raise and protect a child. It is my hope that the other Shaniya’s in the world get the protection they deserve from all of us before it is too late.

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