The members of the Olivet Eagles could teach some professional football players a thing or two about character. The football team from Olivet Middle School in Olivet, Michigan, devised a plan to give a learning-disabled teammate an opportunity to score a goal, “just, like, to make someone’s day.”
Just as we’re finding out that Miami Dolphins coaches may have actually instructed Richie Incognito to “toughen up” teammate Jonathan Martin, here are some kids who plotted out kindness all on their own–even keeping their coach out of the loop.
What’s really striking about this report from CBS Evening News isn’t just how happy Keith Orr was about scoring a goal. It’s not that a group of middle school football players good-naturedly put up with an overabundance of hugs from another boy and make sure he feels like he’s part of the team. What’s remarkable about this story is the effect it had on the team itself.
Even though the boys say they decided to engineer Keith’s opportunity just to make him happy and “to prove that he was part of our team, and that he meant a lot to us,” the outcome impacted Keith’s teammates just as much as it affected Keith.
Wide receiver Justice Miller broke down talking with CBS Evening News’ Steve Hartman, candidly admitting that before the team came together to help Keith score the goal, Keith wasn’t cool, or popular–and it wouldn’t have occurred to Justice to try to change that.
“I would have not really thought about that,” Justice said. “I kind of went from being somebody who mostly cared about myself and my friends to caring about everyone, and trying to making everyone’s day, in everyone’s life.”
(Screencap: CBS Evening News)
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