When we speak about the beauty of sports, we’re typically referring to a precision pass, a wonderful goal or the perfect throw. We mostly use the term to describe a vicarious experience in which something spectacular has occurred. We see it, and our imaginations allow us to experience it. This is why we enjoy sports.
However, that’s not all it offers. Occasionally, sports can give us something more. It can encourage us. It can protect us. And it can prompt us to do good things. Most importantly, it can include those who have otherwise been excluded.
This was the case for Danny Keefe, a kindergartner from Mitchell Elementary School in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, who suffered a brain hemorrhage at birth that caused childhood speech apraxia. In addition to his difficulty speaking, the studious-looking 6-year-old insists on wearing a suit and tie to school every day. He also dresses this way when he’s fulfilling his duties as the official water coach for the Bridgewater Badgers Div. 5 Peewee Football Team.
When Tommy Cooney, the team’s quarterback, learned that Danny was being picked on at school due to his personal style and speech apraxia, he decided to create a “Danny Appreciation Day.” According to WCVB in Boston, the entire team got behind the idea and all wore suits to school just like their waterboy, Danny.
That’s what sports can do.