An Ohio high school football team has invited an 8-year-old with cerebral palsy to be a part of its team and sit on the bench throughout the 2018 season.
As reported by Fox News, 8-year-old Taylan Orton, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was bullied by other youth football players and coaches at his first practice, leaving him distraught. His mother posted her dismay at the incident on Facebook and caught the attention of Emily Buchanan, whose husband is the head coach at Findlay High School in Northeast Ohio, near Taylan’s home.
The Findlay team showed up at Taylan’s school lunch period earlier in the week and invited him to hang out with them on game nights. The result was a giddy elementary schooler and a group of high school football players who saw what their influence could do for good.
“Honestly it was just amazing! Just to see the look on his face,” Findlay quarterback Tanner Rickle told Fox News. “Football’s an amazing sport, and we’re all taught by our coaches, teachers, and families to do the right thing and that was just our one small opportunity to do that.”
The person who was most pleased with the entire episode? Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik:
“This is amazing!” Mihalik told Fox News. “I’m so proud of our football players I can hardly stand it. We are a very blessed community.”