By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – Former Michigan basketball star Trey Burke, longtime NBA star Shaquille O’Neal and rapper Waka Flocka Flame took to Twitter to apologize for mocking a Michigan man with a rare disorder characterized by missing teeth and abnormal hair growth.READ MORE: CDC: New Listeria Outbreak Tied To 23 Illnesses, 1 Death
The man, Jahmel Binion, took a picture of himself, posted it to Instagram and was promptly mocked, with Shaq snapping a self-portrait that mocked Binion’s appearance. Burke, who now plays for the Utah Jazz, and Waka Flocka Flame reportedly joined in the teasing. Binion suffers from ectodermal dysplasia.
Binion told Fox 2 he has been laughed at and stared at his entire life, but he hardly expected such a response – particularly from celebrities – when he put a selfie online.
“People were coming to me, they were telling me, ‘You’ve got a picture, Shaq posted a picture with you,'” Binion said to Fox 2. “I was kind of hurt, because I look up to him.
“I’m like, ‘Why’s he making fun of me when he’s supposed to be this role model?'” Binion added.READ MORE: Red Wings Hire Lightning Assistant Derek Lalonde As Coach
The man resolved to be positive nevertheless.
“I’ve got a mind view like, ‘I can’t let it get to me,'” Binion added. “Then I’d get hurt and depressed, so I just keep my mind high and positive.”
O’Neal, Burke and Waka Flocka Flame have all publicly apologized for their actions.
Binion responded to all the hubbub by creating a Facebook page entitled, “Hug Don’t Judge.”MORE NEWS: Troubling Arsenic Levels Found At Some Detroit Demolition Sites
“Rather than bully that person,” Binion said, “go up to them and show them you’re different from everybody else.”