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Shaquille O’Neal

Popular retired NBA athlete Shaquille O’Neal has risen a lot of eyebrows as a result of his ill-mannered attitude towards a disabled fan. Shaq took to his Instagram to share a photo mocking a 23-year-old man James Binion who is suffering from ectodermal dysplasia- a syndrome that does not allow victims grow hair and teeth.

Shaq’s selfie post fueled a lot of negative comments on his insensitivity and misbehaviour to Binion while silly folks and celebrities such as rapper Wacka Flocka and former University of Michigan athlete Trey Burke joined Shaq to tease Binion.

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Wacka Flocka

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Trey Burke

Binion told My Fox Detroit:

‘I’ve been getting teased since I was yea tall – people laugh at me, stare at me. 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? I can’t let it get to me, then I get hurt and depressed, so I keep my mind positive.”

The whole brouhaha prompted the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias to write an open letter to the NBA legend and executive director Mary Fete wrote: “You might want to consider making something positive come from this. Consider giving Jahmel Binion the gift of a smile, one that others would not make fun of. Give him a smile that would give him confidence and pride.”

Shaq has since taken down the photo which had received 14,016 ‘likes’ as well as comments that rebuked the former athlete for teasing Binion.

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Shaq O’Neal mocks Binion

Instead of being a cry baby, Binion has taken advantage of the publicity to start a campaign to raise awareness of his condition called Hug Don’t Judge. He opened a Facebook page for his campaign which has gained more than 3,500 fans flooded with photos by parents whose children have the same disorder. The page’s description reads: “This page is to support my anti-bulling and cyber bullying organization. Please be respectful, be positive and share this with the world. Time to make a difference.”

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Donald Sterling

This news comes after another popular figure in the NBA, LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist rant was leaked to TMZ. He was recorded telling his girlfriend V.Stiviano, not to mingle with black people especially Magic Johnson who was in a photo she uploaded on Instagram.

So far Shaq has remained silent on this issue. Binion should be applauded for moving on from the negativity around him while Shaq deserves all that is coming to him!

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