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Shaq apologizes to man he mocked in Instagram post

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:21 a.m. HST, May 01, 2014

DETROIT » Ex-NBA star Shaquille O'Neal has apologized to a Detroit man with a rare disorder for making fun of his appearance in an online post.

Best known as Shaq, the former professional basketball player announced the apology in a Twitter message Tuesday.

"Made a new friend today when I called and apologized to Jahmel Binion. Great dude," the tweet said.

O'Neal followed up Wednesday with a tweet that said: "Had the opportunity to talk to Jahmel Binion yesterday and apologize about the post on IG!"

O'Neal spokesman Rishi Daulat told The Associated Press on Wednesday that O'Neal personally wrote the tweets. Daulat declined further comment.

Binion has ectodermal dysplasia, which affects his face, teeth and hair. He told MLive.com that he was "confused" when O'Neal posted a picture on Instagram showing him making a face imitating Binion.

"I was thinking 'Man, he's supposed to be this role model, someone everyone is supposed to look up to. If Shaq does something like this," Binion said, everyone who follows him "will think, 'We should do this.'"

The post was later taken down. AP left an email message for Binion on Wednesday afternoon seeking his reaction to O'Neal's call.

The National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias wrote an open letter Monday to O'Neal saying "bullying is never acceptable."

O'Neal, 42, was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992 out of Louisiana State. He later played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, retiring in 2011. The Lakers won three straight NBA championships with him in 2000-2002.

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1local wrote:
ban for life from the NBA is only fair.
on April 30,2014 | 02:03PM
false wrote:
You're talking about the scumbag O'Neil, I hope. That thug has belittled whites, chinese and now this. How many otherwise tolerant folks now disgustingly use the nig word for his kind?
on April 30,2014 | 02:35PM
hawaiikone wrote:
If and when actions like this are treated the same way the basketball owner's were, then maybe we've made some real progress towards equality.
on April 30,2014 | 02:58PM
Skyler wrote:
on May 1,2014 | 12:14AM
false wrote:
I hope you're talking about that thug, O'Neal. How many whites, Chinese, and now this has he offended. Many otherwise tolerant folks now use the "n" word without hesitation because of acts like these.
on April 30,2014 | 02:40PM
false wrote:
O'Neal is doing his race no favors. He's ridiculed whites, Chinese and now this. Any wonder why the n*word is used so frequently.
on April 30,2014 | 02:47PM
iwanaknow wrote:
come on people...............it was a joke made in poor taste.
on April 30,2014 | 03:52PM
mauiday wrote:
Having a disfigurement, a disability, or a handicap is no joke. To be used as a joke is hurtful. Look up ectodermal dysplasia and see if you think it would be funny to have this condition and to be made someone's joke. Come on people ..... let's have a little empathy and compassion.
on April 30,2014 | 04:44PM
fbiguy wrote:
And if someone made a joke of Oneal's race, would that just be in poor taste, or would it create calls for one's head?
on April 30,2014 | 05:45PM
Skyler wrote:
What's fair is fair. If the NBA is going to slap down Sterling, they should do the same to O'Neal.
on May 1,2014 | 12:18AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
iwanaknow, agree. People, let it go. I realize we're all saints here and do no wrong. Please forgive him.
on May 1,2014 | 07:30AM
HOSSANA wrote:
It's ironic that when a black man mocks or makes fun of a white man or someone with a disability, his apology is accepted and the media accepts it per se but let a white man mock a black man and whole "hell breaks loose." I agree with the comment from 1local that Shaq should be banned from the NBA which is only fair. Nothing more and nothing less.
on April 30,2014 | 06:14PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Shaq's great talent: he dropped out of the womb destined to be an extra-large human being. For this, he's been held up as a role model and hero. Popular American culture- nice.
on April 30,2014 | 06:18PM
WalkoffBalk wrote:
I can't believe this came from a person who misspelled his own name.
on April 30,2014 | 09:50PM
Skyler wrote:
Who cares what o'neal's 'achievements' are? He's a horrible role model & deserves a slap upside his head.
on May 1,2014 | 12:17AM
akkman wrote:
Ahh, this is the 'SHAQ-ATTACK' at it's best. Never liked this poor excuse for a man; he has a history of disrespectful actions and words directed towards other groups. He may be wealthy, but he is definitely NOT A CLASS ACT.
on May 1,2014 | 08:51AM
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