Retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal had been under fire for publishing a selfie mocking a photo of a Michigan man with ectodermal dysplasiasas. It’s a rare disorder that “causes a reduced ability to sweat, missing teeth and abnormal hair growth,” according to My FOX Detroit.
Jahmel Binion explained that he had been teased his whole life but he never thought celebrities would also tease him.
The mocking selfie had later been removed from O’Neal’s Instagram page, and was replaced by one that showed him mocking Shrek.
One Instagram user let O’Neal know that she wasn’t cool with what he did.
“Only thing that makes sense is that you have a mental defect. It’s not only about black/white, it’s about being a decent human being,” wrote Instagram user candyleigh33. “You made a mistake. If you believe what you did was wrong #APOLOGIZE. If you think what you did was right, then put the pic back up and stand by your actions. But just pretending it didn’t happen? Not only are you a horrible mean-spirited man, but you are a fake and a disgrace.”
Another Instagram user said:
“You’re a disgrace @shaq. You come out against ‘racism,’ people not liking, or making fun of people of other colors, etc. But yet you mock someone because of the way they look. You’re no better than Donald Sterling. You’re a disgrace to yourself and to society. Take a good look at yourself, Shaq and realize what a piece of garbage you are @kyd227 @darkstaff. Check out the story behind Shaq. He’s removed the photo he posted, but you’ll see what a sad excuse for a person he is.”
O’Neal has now apologized for mocking Binion’s selfie; Rapper Waka Flocka and University of Michigan athlete Trey Burke also apologized for mocking the selfie.
Binion said that O’Neal called him and apologized personally for making fun of his appearance.
“Shaq contacted me and apologized for his actions. He now understands that his actions were wrong and not only did they hurt me, but my entire NEED family. Hopefully he goes one step further and contributes to#hugdontjudge and NFED,” noted Binion on the page.
On Tuesday night, both Waka Flocka and O’Neal took to Twitter to acknowledge their misdeeds.
“Made a new friend today when I called and apologized to Jahmel Binion. Great dude.#alwayslearning #MYBADCUZ,” tweeted O’Neal.
“Right, I wanna apologize to #JahmelBinion for being a[n] ass and making a mockery of him #SaluteLiLHomie #WeAllTheSame Waka Flocka,” noted the rapper.
Binion had created the Hug Don’t Judge Facebook page to shed light on cyberbullying and encourage positivity. The online group has also allowed those affected by ectodermal dysplasias to share photos and stories.
To find out more about ectodermal dysplasias, go to this website.
Celebrities have a chance to use social media for the greater good, and the fact that Shaq would choose to mock someone on Instagram makes me sick. Yes, he apologized, but it wasn’t cool what he did in the first place.