Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal took to Twitter late Tuesday to announce he had apologized for a controversial picture he posted to Instagram — but the Michigan man at the center of the controversy says that’s not enough.
“Made a new friend today when I called and apologized to Jahmel Binion,” Shaq tweeted. “Great dude.”
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) April 30, 2014
The former Los Angeles Lakers center took heat after he posted a picture on Instagram — captioned “smile today” — showing his face alongside Jahmel Binion. Binion’s missing teeth and abnormal hair growth, however, are a result of a rare disorder called ectodermal dysplasia. O’Neal later removed the picture, but Binion man said he was hurt to see one of his idols tease him online.
On Wednesday, Binion told TheBlaze he accepted O’Neal’s apology, but would like to see him do more.
“It was like a quick conversation,” he said. “But I felt he meant what he said. Now, I feel like he can do more.”
Binion had some suggestions for the former NBA star.
“I still feel that even though the picture was only toward me, he should apologize to my whole organization and to everybody that’s different in this world,” Binion said.
He added, “Shaq himself should be willing to learn more about my condition and maybe even donate to my organization (Hug Don’t Judge) or donate to NFED (National Foundation for Ectodermal Dyslasias.”
Binion said he didn’t tell O’Neal this during their conversation, but said “it should just be something he feels right doing by himself.” He is also encouraging individuals to join his organization, Hug Don’t Judge, on Facebook.
Shortly after O’Neal announced his apology online, the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dyslasias tweeted back, “let’s raise awareness together!”
@SHAQ apology to Jahmel = good first step. Hope he apologizes to entire ectodermal dysplasias community. Let's raise awareness together!
— NFED (@NFED_ORG) April 30, 2014
O’Neal did not appear to respond on Twitter.
It is unclear whether O’Neal, a part owner of the Sacramento Kings, will face any disciplinary measures for posting the photo. A representative for the NBA did not immediately respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment.
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