Now, a man with no arms says comments that Sheen made during his Feb. 28 "Good Morning America" interview are a slap in the face to people without limbs.
About four minutes and 14 seconds into the now-infamous interview, Sheen described his recent partying binge as "epic" and says it was so intense that it put the wild antics of other famous showbiz rogues to shame.
Those comments probably won't cause Mick Jagger or Keith Richards to lose much sleep, but they definitely offend San Diego-based motivational speaker Tom Willis. That's because they hit him right where it hurts. You see, Willis was born without any arms, just a small left hand with two fingers that aren't very strong.
But that hasn't stopped him from a successful life, first as a producer of educational films and currently as a motivational speaker who has made it his goal to throw out the first ball at every Major League Baseball stadium -- with his feet.
Over the years, Willis has tried to change people's hearts and minds about disabled Americans, but he says Sheen's shunning of the disabled shows how little has changed -- and how much work he has to do.
"Sheen's comments -- the way he said them so matter-of-factly -- made me feel like he might say it any day of the week, that this was normal for him. I had to back up my DVR over and over again because I couldn't believe he said it. Then I had to transcribe it and send it to others."
One of the people he sent it to was the mother of an 8-year-old girl with no arms.
Willis has every right to get mad, but hopes he can instead turn the situation into a "teachable moment."
"[The comments] reinforce why I do my speeches," he told AOL News. "When you see a person without limbs, it doesn't mean you can't do anything."
Willis is the perfect example to prove his own point. When he speaks to groups, he comes onstage throwing Frisbees and balls with his feet. In fact, he can throw a baseball forcefully at least 60 feet, 6 inches, the distance from the pitcher's mound to home plate, something that should impress Sheen, who has appeared in baseball-themed movies like "Eight Men Out" and "Major League."
However, Willis is not impressed with Sheen, or the context in which he used the term "armless children."
"He compares himself to iconic figures and calls them 'armless children' because he's better at sex and drugs?'" Willis asked rhetorically. "I don't know what to say to a person like this. It was strange that this was the one reference that was an insult. He didn't put anyone else down.
"It isn't the words that offend me -- there are armless children -- but it's the way he presented it, as if it's the worst thing in the world."
Willis realizes there is a long line of people ahead of him waiting for a Charlie Sheen apology.
"I wouldn't expect anything, because he has his own issues. But I wish him well," Willis said. "I hope he can find his own peace and happiness. Maybe even with a porn star."
On the other hand, he hopes that raising attention to the offensiveness of Sheen's comments can also help others realize that he's wrong in at least one respect.
"Christopher Reeve showed that in one snap of the finger your life can change," Willis said. "However, he also showed that a disability is not the end of the world."
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