Current Detroit Tigers and former New York Yankees pitcher Phil Coke is taking a stance against bullying. Coke made an appearance Monday at Wayne State University in Detroit. Speaking before the National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, Coke exposed some of his experiences in regards to bullying. The task force is co-chaired by his former Yankee and soon-to-be Hall of Fame manager, Joe Torre.
As reported by ESPN and the Associated Press, Coke gave more statements in the Tigers’ clubhouse before tonight’s game:
There’s different things and different levels of, just kind of general picking on — ‘Oh, your last name’s Coke.’ Little kids figure out ways to mess with your name all the time…It can get under your skin and provoke you into getting upset or being angry or being down, getting upset enough to be withdrawn.
There’s just things that can and should be done. Instead of turning a blind eye to it, light’s being shed on it, and for a good reason…It’s for people that go through different things — and things that I heard (Monday). Like the school shootings, and it comes down to the kid had an issue because he was picked on by a group of kids, so he took matters into his own hands. There’s no rhyme or reason for that to happen. None…That’s an extreme case, but on a day-to-day, we can keep that kind of stuff from happening if we’re just willing to pay a little more attention.
We often hear of professional athletes making appearances at this place or that place, and many of us will question their true intentions. Well, in this case it really appears that Coke has genuine feelings about the subject and wants to help youngsters, on both sides of bullying, to grow into strong men and women. For this, I applaud Mr. Coke. We should all use our personal experiences for the betterment of mankind.