I get upset when sports figures are cast as heroes or idols for kids to look up to (just look at the NFL’s offseason this year as sufficient justification for my anger—a star player with multiple murder charges? Ouch), but occasionally those who are involved in sports deserve some kudos for acting with class.
Recently a 12-year-old boy, Grant Reed, announced that he had beaten cancer. The boy is a big Ohio State fan, and for those who don’t follow sports very closely, Michigan is Ohio State’s biggest rival. Basically, Ohio State fans hate the University of Michigan and everything about it. When Grant Reed announced that he had beaten cancer, he said he named cancer “Michigan,” meaning he beat Michigan.
This is where the classy sports news comes into play. Urban Meyer of Ohio State, who has been in quite a bit of hot water lately because he recruited Aaron Hernandez to the University of Florida several years ago (see the above comment about multiple murder charges from an NFL player), stopped in to the hospital to meet with Grant Reed after his final chemotherapy treatment. Meeting the head coach of his favorite school has to have been a huge morale booster and will be a moment Grant never forgets.
And here’s some more class. Brady Hoke, the head coach of the University of Michigan, the hated school Grant named his cancer after, contacted Grant and invited him to the University of Michigan vs. the Ohio State University game to be played at Michigan later this year. Brady Hoke could have taken offense to Grant naming his cancer after Michigan. After all, Brady Hoke is the head coach and an alumnus of Michigan, and Michigan’s fans probably didn’t take Grant’s naming his cancer Michigan very well, but in the end Brady Hoke stepped forward and reminded all those Michigan fans and the rest of the football fans out there that in the end football is just football. Nothing is more important than life. Not a game and certainly not a heated rivalry.
So, here’s a bit of kudos to Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke for being sports figures with class.
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