Tyson Chandler Just Wrote An Incredibly Moving Players’ Tribune Piece On Bullying
It's hard to look at Derek Jeter's thinly-veiled public relations blog as anything more than branded content shilling individual athletes. No matter how personal the contributor's article, the endgame of a Players' Tribune pot always feels like they're trying to sell you a pair of sneakers. Ninety-nine percent of the stuff on there is utterly useless, half of which is bullshit.
Tyson Chandler's 866-word mea culpa on bullying was not. It kinda/sorta almost chokes you up.
[Keep it together, Jake. Push those feelings down, goddamnit!]
The 33-year-old Phoenix Suns center details how he participated in the schoolyard torment of a brother and sister who, much like the rest of his community, were poor. He looks back on it with a degree of sincere remorse that athletes and public figures (or even regular people for that matter) rarely if ever admit.
It reads like a transcribed therapy session.
How could I have done that? I mean, think about it: We were growing up in the projects. And we were laughing at these kids for wearing the same clothes? Every single one of us was disadvantaged. I’d play football, baseball and basketball and then go to school in the same pair of shoes all year. How in the world could I be laughing at anyone?
Now that I’m a grown man, it’s so clear to me these kids were going through some terrible trauma at home. That’s why the sister would never leave her brother’s side. She looked to him for protection at all times. Who knows what was happening in their home. But at the time, we all just looked at anything different as “weird.”
What they went through wasn’t dramatic. Nobody was walking up to them and pushing them or dumping their lunch tray. It was mundane. It was every day. It was psychological. So nobody stepped in to stop it. I was a big kid. I played sports. Maybe all it would have taken for it to stop was for me to say, “Hey, shut up.”
You see this, Dwyane Wade? This is how you write a letter to your younger self -- not some stupid Instagram post about how awesome your life is. It's nice to see someone in a position of power think about other people for a change.
October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.
[Via The Players' Tribune]
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