Shaquille O’Neal Apologizes, Victim Starts Movement
Shaquille O’Neal had to eat some serious crow after posting an offensive photo on Instagram of himself mocking a man with a disability.
The offended, 23-year-old Jahmel Binion, suffers from ectodermal dysplasia, a rare genetic condition that affects his hair and teeth and also prevents him from sweating. So, if he gets overheated and can’t cool himself down, he could faint or have heat stroke.
Binion, who began a positive online anti-bullying and awareness Facebook campaign called Hug Dont Judge, received apologies from O’Neal as well as from rapper Waka Flocka for posting the pictures to Instagram.Seriously, who does this?
The basketball star/ rapper apologized to Binion and in turn, made a friend. And hopefully learned a little something.
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) April 30, 2014
Waka Flocka posted this tweet as his mea culpa for Binion:
— Waka Flocka Flame (@WakaFlockabsm) April 29, 2014
But was it enough to make up for a highly offensive and exeedingly inappropriate act?
“I accepted the apologies,” Binion told the Detroit Free Press. “But I think they should do something more public. … I’m not alone.”
So will Shaq do things a little more publicly or perhaps let it blow over? Well, one thing that isn’t blowing over soon is Binion’s Facebook page and the Hug Don’t Judge movement. The page, nearing 18,000 members at the last check, has exploded in popularity.
People from around the world who feel different and left out because of disabilities, as well as mothers and friends of those affected by diseases that make a person stand out, have flocked to the page to send “hugs” to those who suffer discrimination with messages of encouragement.
It seems a lot of good has come out of Shaq putting his foot in his mouth!
Image via YouTube