The viral story about two mysterious bules handing out dollar bills while stuck in Jakarta traffic yesterday has gotten a surprising twist. Based on reader tips and a bit of Instagram research, we suspected that one of the men in the photos was actually a well-known professional athlete from America.
After reaching out to him on social media, Mason Plumlee, an NBA player for the Portland Trail Blazers, confirmed that he was in fact one of the people in the photo.
Plumlee sent us a direct message on Twitter and explained:
Anybody who has been stuck in Jakarta’s hellacious traffic while late for an important meeting can certainly understand the impulse of wanting to do whatever it takes to escape the macet. At least Plumlee and his friend were having fun with it and we’re pretty sure the folks who they handed dollars to didn’t find it disrespectful.
As for the police, they confirmed the pair did nothing wrong legally.
“Yeah, no problem. It’s nice to give money, isn’t it?” Jakarta Police Public Relations Head Awie Setiyono told Detik today. When asked if they needed a permit to do something like that, Awie said it wasn’t necessary.
Plumlee mentioned to us that while he was in Jakarta he had taken the time to visit some schools, a church and a hospital. The NBA player is known for his work with the charity Project Medishare, an organization working to improve quality of life in Haiti.
Here’s the photo of Plumlee in Jakarta from his Instagram account that first led us to believe it was him in the viral photo:
A version of this article is available in Bahasa Indonesia at our sister site Coconuts Indonesia.