Shaquille O’Neal is a man of many hats, from being an NBA legend and a TNT analyst to a comedy icon in his own mind and supporting character in the Happy Madison stable, but being the Big Apologizer has never really been one of his things. Now, though, the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias has put that idea to the test, as Executive Director Mary Fete wrote an open letter to the Buick spokesperson regarding an under-the-radar news story that took a backseat to all of the Donald Sterling press.
In a since-deleted Instagram post, Shaq made a goofy face that ignorantly mocked a young man named Jahmel Binion, who suffers from Ectodermal Dysplasias, which is a rare condition that hinders his ability to sweat and causes missing teeth and hair. It’s safe to say that Shaq didn’t know about Binion’s condition when he shared the image, but that didn’t stop a lot of people from comparing him to Sterling and calling for his head on a stick. But Binion, to his credit, handled the unexpected exposure in stride.
Again, this week’s NBA news has already been dominated by a very intense headline – no, not how all of the ESPN experts picked the Bulls to beat the Wizards – so Shaq could have just let this one wash away like most controversies do and lived to tell a few million more bad jokes. But it turns out that the big lug does know wrong from right, and he not only skipped the hollow and meaningless act of a Twitter apology, but he went straight to the source and personally called Binion to apologize.
Just looking at Shaq’s mentions, that’s still not good enough for some people, but then, this world can never be a better place until every last one of us is fired from our jobs, and nobody works for anybody ever again.