OT/Editorial: DeSean Jackson Gives 'Shirt Off of His Back' to Bullying Victim

Photo Credit Zimbio.com
Athletes at all levels; professional, collegiate, and high school can have an impact on someones life in a huge way and not even realize it.  As a player you never know how many children are looking up to you as a role model.  You never know how many children are wearing your game jersey to bed or to school or just outside.  It is important for players of all sports and and at all levels to use their gifts to give back to the communities and fans that give so much to them.  That is exactly what some Philadelphia Eagles players did a few days ago.  The heart warming gesture of these players caused many on the set, including Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters, and those in the studio to become teary eyed.    Read on to know more about this story.

 Living so close to Philadelphia I get the joyful privilege of  hearing all the high praise and lowly insults about the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team. Philadelphia's sport fan base is extremely passionate about their teams.  Let's just say it can be a strange place to be when your are an all Detroit-area sports fans.  Philadelphia doesn't care too much about the Detroit Lions.  One day they may once the Lions start winning but for now it's a dormant subject.  The Detroit Tigers and the Phillies' do not really play one another in baseball all to often, so again, dormant.  The Detroit Pistons....well...they have more important things  to worry about such as, "who is signing the checks." The one Detroit-area team Philadelphia doesn't like is the Detroit Red Wings.  Of coarse, with all the success the Red Wings have, the level of envy is easily understandable. 

While sports fans will always be good for bickering and debating amongst each other what often times get lost in the mix is how valuable these pro athletes can be to our children.  I coach youth 9/10 year old kids in football.  Every year you get kids that come out in different pro player jerseys, talking about the game that was on the other week or who their favorite player is.  These kids are so in-tuned to these athletes that they even emulate their horrible playing habits.  No wonder so many youth kids try to do the famous Deion Sanders "shoulder tackle."  The other habit that will certainly raise my blood pressure is the east-west dancing style of running.  Instead of hard nosed north-south running. 

Kids being in tuned to these athletes are great and can even send a powerful message.  The NFL use programs like "play 60" that encourages kids to go outside and play and exercise for at least 60 minutes a day, the United Way-which helps foster teamwork, friendship building and other activities and most famously the Make-A-Wish Foundation that grants the wishes of sick children.  If you would like to visit any of these websites to learn more about the organization please click on the links: Play60, United Way and Make-A-Wish

Most recently, DeSean Jackson and two other Philadelphia Eagles Todd Herremans and Jamaal Jackson, showed up on the set of The Voice to help spread the message that bullying is unacceptable and needs to be properly dealt with in the proper manner.  These three NFL players came on-set to show their support for a kid who had been getting horribly bullied and picked on for several months by some older kids.  The YouTube video below shows the bullyings occur in real time.  The video also shows just how powerful of an impression these athletes made on the young boy.  Look at his face when they are introduced and come onto the set. 

It is in my hopes that more players from all sports can step up and do something like this. I am sure there are many that do that just go unnoticed. As fans it is easy to bicker amongst each other or to point the blame at the players for a bad game but remember the impact these players can have on our children's lives good and bad. A simple bed side appearance (like from Charles Woodson at Motts Childrens Hospital in the pic below) can make the life of an ill child just that much brighter.

Photo Credit AnnArbor.com

Do not worry Victors Voice fans I wont be going off and proclaiming my fandom to the Eagles. No need to worry if the website name is going to change to "Eagles Voice" As a coach of youth football and a father of two boys I just wanted to point this video out for two reasons (1); to help stop bullying and (2); to remember the impression these athletes can have on our kids.

**Editor Note*** There will be times on this site that an author will see or hear about a story and write about it.  These stories/topics/subjects are going to be labeled OT/Editorial.  While they may not directly or indirectly relate to Michigan football, they are stories that should touch the lives of each of us.

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