Shaq, others apologize for mocking Mich. man with genetic disord - KMSP-TV

Shaq, others apologize for mocking Mich. man with genetic disorder

Posted: Updated:
 
O'Neal has been highly criticized after posting this photo on his Instagram account. O'Neal has been highly criticized after posting this photo on his Instagram account.
Binion, 23, has since started the Facebook group called Hugs Don't Judge. Binion, 23, has since started the Facebook group called Hugs Don't Judge.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Shaquille O'Neal has apologized for mocking a Madison Heights, Mich. man with a rare genetic disorder on social media.

O'Neal tweeted Tuesday, "Made a new friend today when I called and apologized to Jahmel Binion. Great Dude."

Several celebrities, including O'Neal, were heavily criticized on social media for teasing Binion, who has ectodermal dysplasia, a condition characterized by a reduced ability to sweat, missing teeth and abnormal hair growth.

Binion told FOX 2's Randy Wimbley he's been teased his whole life, but never thought he'd be bullied after posting a selfie on Instagram. He says people began recognizing him after O'Neal posted a side-by-side comparison of himself making a contorted face and Binion's selfie and the caption: "Smile today."

Binion says O'Neal told him on the phone he didn't realize the photo was of a real person, and thought it was photoshopped. The photo on O'Neal's Instagram has since been taken down.

Former University of Michigan athlete Trey Burke and Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame also joined in on the teasing, but also apologized Tuesday.

"I wanna apologize to Jahmel Binion for being a *ss and making a mockery of him," Flame tweeted.

As for Burke, officials with the Utah Jazz say he also called Binion to apologize and invited him to the Palace of Auburn Hills next season when the Jazz play the Pistons.

In an email sent to FOX 2, Burke's mother also offered an apology from the Burke family, saying they are very sorry Jahmel "had to endure this embarrassment" and that Trey is "very remorseful." The Utah Jazz confirmed the email was sent from her.

Since then, Binion has launched his own anti-bullying campaign, called Hugs Don't Judge. In less than a week, the group has more than 10,000 members on Facebook from around the world.

Now, Binion says he's thinking about speaking in classrooms and hopes O'Neal, Flame and Burke will take part in raising awareness about ectodermal dysplasia.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Howell man fatally shot in alleged road rage incident

    Howell man fatally shot in alleged road rage incident

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:08 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:08:21 GMT
    A 43-year-old Howell man was fatally shot at Chilson and Grand River in Genoa Township Tuesday afternoon. According to police, an alleged road rage incident led to the shooting.
    A 43-year-old Howell man was fatally shot at Chilson and Grand River in Genoa Township Tuesday afternoon. According to police, an alleged road rage incident led to the shooting.
  • Detroit police seek missing Amber Smith, 29

    Detroit police seek missing Amber Smith, 29

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:18 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:18:21 GMT
    Detroit police are asking for the public's help locating 29-year-old Amber Smith.
    Detroit police are asking for the public's help locating 29-year-old Amber Smith.
  • YOUR PHOTOS: First day of school 2014

    YOUR PHOTOS: First day of school 2014

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-09-02 15:08:59 GMT
    It's back to school day!Many kids are heading back to school today. Is yours? We'd love to see your Back to School photos.
    It's back to school day!Many kids are heading back to school today. Is yours? We'd love to see your Back to School photos.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices