Shaq's Ignorant Instagram Blunder Ended With Positivity and a Reminder Never to Judge Disability
“I’m more positive probably than I could ever be,” Jahmel Binion says in the FOX 2 video below, just days after basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal publicly mocked him on Instagram.
Binion, a 23-year-old from Madison Heights, Mich., has ectodermal dysplasia, a rare genetic condition with symptoms like “reduced ability to sweat, missing teeth and fine sparse hair.”
Instead of lashing out against O’Neal, he responded with an anti-bullying Facebook page, “HUG DON’T JUDGE,” which gained more than 18,000 followers in less than a week.
“Please be respectful, be positive and share this with the world,” he writes on the page. “Time to make a difference.”
O’Neal deleted the photograph from Instagram and apologized for his ignorance on Twitter with a hashtag that stood out to us at The Mighty.
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) April 30, 2014
Hopefully, O’Neal’s ignorance and #AlwaysLearning apology will be a reminder to others to educate themselves before making a snap judgment about someone’s appearance. The National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasia has invited O’Neal to this year’s NFED National Family Conference in hopes of doing just that.
In the mean time, Binion is fighting hate with kindness. You can join his HUGS DON’T JUDGE Facebook group here.
Image via Creative Commons/dr.coop