To show our support for people everywhere who have been affected by bullying, especially those who’ve gone on to do incredible things in spite of the people who bullied them, here are 3 inspiring stories of athletes who showed their bully who’s boss.
He may be one of the best QBs in football, but he wasn’t always considered a hero. In fact, people used to tease him relentlessly about a birthmark on his face. Cruel nicknames like “Spot” and constant reminders to “wipe that (censored) off your face” were common ways people used to pick on this football star. But he’s definitely getting the last laugh now – and fans have even paid tribute to his birthmark by painting a version of it on their face.
Fans pay tribute to Brees with a birthmark-shaped face tattoo
Before he was a Slam Dunk Contest winner, Gerald Green had it pretty tough. As a kid, while trying to hone his dunking skills, he ripped a finger to the bone on his right hand and lost the finger as a result. Living with four fingers on one hand made life difficult for Green. According to this story from the Phoenix Suns, kids found a way to make him feel horrible about the unfortunate result of a routine dunk.
“They called me everything. I heard ‘alien hand’ and all kinds of names while growing up. I had a rough time with it because I remember feeling so much different and not wanting to go to school. Every kid should feel safe while they’re at school and they should feel they have the same opportunities as everybody else regardless of what they look like or what kind of shoes they have on.”
Georges St. Pierre
One of the greatest MMA fighters of all time used to be at the receiving end of some vicious abuse. As a result of continuously dry lips, he developed red sores around his mouth – a condition that became the source of bullying from neighbourhood kids on his way to school. They would strip him of his pants, his money and tease him about his appearance on the daily. It got so bad, it’s what prompted him to take up martial arts. He’s now an anti-bullying advocated and has provided information to prevent bullying and offer help to those who need it on his personal website. It’s pretty clear no one will be messing with GSP any time soon.