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Home / NFL / Draft prospect Garrett Gilkey talks about being bullied in the past

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Chadron State's Garrett Gilkey says he was once a small kid who was bullied during his first year of high school (Credit: AP Photo)

Chadron State’s Garrett Gilkey says he was once a small kid who was bullied during his first year of high school (Credit: AP Photo)

Offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey went to the small school of Chadron State, located in north-western Nebraska. Weighing in at 6 feet, 6 inches and 318 pounds, it seems unlikely that Gilkey would be a victim of bullying. However, according to ProFootballTalk, Gilkey says there was a time when he was a scrawny kid who faced bullies.

Gilkey says during his first year of high school, he faced bullying before transferring to another high school, where he grew.

In fact, football and former Bills receiver Don Beebe helped Gilkey overcome his bullying.

“I was undersized and I was actually bullied and ostracized by my entire school,” Gilkey said. “Going into my freshman year, I had a heart operation — very simple, but it prevented me from playing in any sports and doing anything. So, I excelled academically. With that, some of the guys — especially on the football team and the upper cliques — distanced [themselves] from me because I wasn’t able to do the running in the summer and the workouts. . . . I was constantly bullied, constantly picked on. It was a very hard year. Really, I like to tell people that I was just the little redheaded, gingery, skinny-looking [kid]. I was pear-shaped. I had these wide hips and this skinny-looking upper body. I was just a prime target for many of the cruel kids.”

Gilkey, went on to add that, as a pro athlete, he wants to work with kids who have been a victim of bullying.

“I’m starting an anti-bullying campaign,” Gilkey said. “I have such a great opportunity to be proactive and be encouraging and be a strong force within the community of the west suburbs of Chicago. I plan on being proactive with schools and junior highs and YMCAs, and talking about bullying. I think I have a great position, being my size, and standing up and talking about my experience being bullied, being ostracized and being made fun of. People see me now and think, ‘How could this person ever be bullied?’ I have a great voice and great platform to share those experiences and share my faith, as well.”


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