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New York Giants Player Victor Cruz Gives Assist to Gay Bullied Teen: VIDEO


As part of its NFL Characters Unite public service program, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz helps a gay bullied teen overcome his fears about a place that for him was a source of pain and rejection: the locker room.

Writes USA Network: Kemmerling

In NFL Characters Unite, Cruz meets 19-year old Joey Kemmerling, who came out when he was a middle school student. Joey was relentlessly bullied for years because of his sexual orientation. Classmates called him hateful names, physically hurt him and even threatened to light him on fire. The school locker room was a particularly painful and dangerous place for Joey, as much of the taunting took place there. At one point in high school, the situation got so bad that he contemplated suicide. With the support of his mother, Joey was able to move past the homophobia and harassment he experienced and he decided to use his voice to help stop bullying. He launched a youth-led anti-bullying organization, became active with the nonprofit GLSEN and has spoken to groups of students, educators and even members of Congress.

Now, thanks to Victor Cruz, he gets an opportunity to clear another hurdle: revisiting a locker room, a place that still conjures up painful memories. Cruz takes Joey on a tour of the New York Giants locker room to help him put the agony of his past truly behind him. Joey gains closure he needs to continue on his path to full recovery and learns to Never Say Never to overcoming his fears.

Watch (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

(via outsports)

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  1. Thanks for this, Andy!

    Posted by: Ken | Jan 8, 2014 10:55:57 AM

  2. Let's hope the New York Giants are more supportive than the Minnesota Vikings of a player championing a "controversial" cause; I hope Mr. Cruz doesn't lose his job over this. (Color me cynical, please.)

    Posted by: Charles in Chicago | Jan 8, 2014 11:12:40 AM

  3. This video was awesome. I think kids in schools everywhere should see this.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Jan 8, 2014 11:18:46 AM

  4. This is awesome. Thanks Andy!!

    Posted by: Edd | Jan 8, 2014 11:50:43 AM

  5. That's a very good video, this young man has a lot of courage. As for Victor Cruz, I was always a fan but I love him even more now!

    Posted by: ny2.0 | Jan 8, 2014 11:54:09 AM

  6. Poor kid.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jan 8, 2014 12:30:37 PM

  7. Giants ownership is very supportive of LGBT rights.

    The NFL Characters Unite series is wonderful. We have this mentality that all football players are meathead losers but that's simply not true. Victor Cruz is a good guy and Joey is one brave, strong-willed young man.

    Posted by: Francis | Jan 8, 2014 12:33:00 PM

  8. Excellent. Pay attention sport teams. Victor Cruz seems nice person and is handsome man.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Jan 8, 2014 2:55:44 PM

  9. Yes, this was beautiful. Even though he's a New York Giant I can love...well, like...well repect Victor Cruz.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 8, 2014 3:05:29 PM

  10. I love positive stories like this.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Jan 8, 2014 4:29:04 PM

  11. Amazing story. Joey is a brave young man.

    Posted by: Rafael | Jan 8, 2014 5:05:35 PM

  12. Great video- Joey is great gay youth role model and Mr Cruz came across as both classy and sensitive.

    Posted by: jarago | Jan 8, 2014 5:29:07 PM

  13. Victor Cruz, besides being one of the best receivers in the NFL, is certainly a first-class act outside of the NFL. Thanks, Victor. And, good luck to you, Joey.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 8, 2014 6:38:35 PM

  14. Loved this. Thanks for sharing! And cheers to Victor Cruz. I don't follow sports, but if I did, I would pick the Giants as my team because of you!

    Posted by: gabriel | Jan 8, 2014 10:18:43 PM

  15. Great story all around.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Jan 9, 2014 7:51:14 AM

  16. Video seems to have disappeared. :(

    Posted by: KC | Jan 9, 2014 5:35:19 PM

  17. I already heart Victor Cruz. Now that is doubled. Good stuff.

    Posted by: SoLeftImRight | Jan 9, 2014 9:28:23 PM

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