Matt Gay, kicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been bullied his whole life because of his name, as have his nieces and nephews, he says, so he’s taken up the cause of anti-bullying and will wear special cleats to Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Said Gay to the Tampa Bay Times: “It’s so easy to hide behind a phone and say whatever you want. … I think it’s pure coward-ism for those who do it and there’s no place for it in this world. I got bullied and teased all the time for my last name and things like that. Luckily I was stronger willed than they were and overcome it. There’s a lot of kids that get bullied in this world and have no way to stand up for themselves.”
“Some of the messages I receive, it’s almost like people forget you’re an actual human being,” Gay added. “That you’re sending this to another person. It’s easy when you’re sitting behind a phone and not face to face with someone and can say whatever you want. But you don’t know it’s affecting that person, it’s affecting the mom and those that are around them. Just being able to show a little faith in humanity and love everyone. We’re all struggling through life. There’s no reason to beat somebody down for no reason.’’