SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke apologized for an insensitive post on Instagram that mocked a Michigan man with a rare genetic disorder.
Burke, former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal and rapper Waka Flocka Flame were each criticized for making fun of Jahmel Binion, a 23-year-old from Madison Heights, Michigan, who suffers from ectodermal dysplasia, which produces abnormalities with the hair, teeth, nails, sweat glands and face.
All three have since apologized publicly for their insensitive social media posts.
According to a Jazz spokesperson, Burke called Jahmel personally on Tuesday, but originally chose not to tweet or post a public apology because he didn’t want to bring any unwanted attention to Jahmel. However, after the story became public, Burke chose to publicly tweet his apology, which read, “Had the opportunity to talk to Jahmel Binion yesterday and apologize about the post on IG!”
Burke saw a selfie Binion posted of himself, but didn’t realize it was a real person with a real disability associated with it. O’Neal posted a picture of himself mocking the picture of Binion.
Randy Wimbley of Fox 2 Detroit reported that Burke’s apology seemed to be the most sincere, according to Binion. Burke also offered to take Binion and his family to the Utah-Detroit game when the Jazz are in Michigan next year.
Binion has started an anti-bullying campaign on Facebook called “Hug Don’t Judge” that already has 10,000 members. He also told Fox 2 that he hopes Burke, O’Neal and Waka will all work to raise awareness of the disorder he was born with.
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