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Mason Plumlee Identified In Viral Jakarta Traffic Photo

Nobody likes waiting in a traffic jam. Plumlee made the most of a delay during his visit to Jakarta.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

While traveling through the Republic of Indonesia earlier this week, Trail Blazers center Mason Plumlee visited the capital. His exploits landed him in the center of an unusual story. It seems that while stuck in Jakarta traffic, Plumlee and another "bule" (Caucasian foreigner) exited their vehicle and were photographed handing out dollar bills. The photo of the then unidentified Plumlee went viral on social media.

The media outlet Coconuts Jakarta—an Indonesian news, restaurants, and lifestyle guide—reached out to Plumlee via Twitter, and Plumlee confirmed that it was him in the photograph, offering the following explanation:

"We were late to a meeting and trying to incentivize the traffic to move along. We did not mean to disrespect the people and they actually had a lot of fun with it.. We had a great visit to Jakarta."

According to Coconuts Jakarta, it was just a bit of fun that did not actually cause offense, and police confirmed that nothing Plumlee or his compatriot did was illegal:

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.

In his travels, Plumlee made it a point to visit a number of schools, a church, and a hospital. Charity is not out of character for him. Plumlee recently joined up with Project Medishare to support Haiti and the Haiti relief fund. To learn more about his ongoing effort to improve the quality of Haitian life, click here.

H/T: Sam Tongue