Shaq criticized for Instagram selfie mocking teen’s smile
Twenty-three-year old Michigan native Jahmel Binion has a rare genetic disorder called ectodermal dysplasia that stifles the natural growth of hair, teeth and sweat glands.
You can imagine the surprise Binion felt after posting a selfie to Instagram and seeing people he didn’t even know mocking his face.
After doing some digging, all signs pointed to the NBA legend, Shaquille O’ Neal, who posted a side by side pic with Binion with the caption “SMILE TODAY,” mimicking his face.
“I was kinda hurt because I look up to him and I watch Shaq play basketball so I was like, why is he making fun of me when he’s supposed to be this role model?’ Binion told Fox 2 Detroit.
The former Laker great and current analyst for TNT wasn’t alone in the humor.
Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame and Utah Jazz shooting guard Trey Burke clowned Binion on social media as well, but Jahmel has turned all the negative energy into something proactive for his disorder and others who have been victims of cyber bullying.
“My Facebook campaign is called Hug Don’t Judge and I’m so proud to say that in just over 3 days we have almost 5000 members who all support my cause. I would have to say my favorite part of this organization is the positive comments and the pictures of all our family,” Binion replied in a statement to theGrio.
Shaq has since deleted the original post. He later posted a similar photo of himself Monday, but included the Disney character Shrek and not Binion.
TheGrio.com reached out to Binion to see if he had received an apology from anyone over the photo. Binion did not respond before publish time.
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Shaq, others apologize for mocking Mich. man with genetic disorder
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) — Shaquille O’Neal has apologized for mocking a Madison Heights, Mich. man with a rare genetic disorder on social media.