This is when you underestimate the power of social media. NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal mocked Jahmel Binion, who suffers with rare genetic disorder, ectodermal dysplasia, on Instagram and Twitter. Wacka Flocka Flame and Alphonso “Trey” Burke also posted photos poking fun at Binion’s appearance. Binion is firing back.
O’Neal, with his face contorted, wrote the post, “Smile Today,” which has since been deleted from his accounts. Shaq, Waka Flocka Flame, né Juaquin Malphurs, and Utah Jazz player Alphonso “Trey” Burke have been named in a $25,000 lawsuit where Binion is claiming intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and general negligence.
Binion tells media, “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 National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias wrote an open letter to O’Neal saying “bullying is never acceptable.”
O’Neal, Malphurs and Burke have apologized.