When 13-year-old Ty Cornett started getting bullied and called racist slurs while playing hockey, he wanted to quit. His father, Matthew was about to let him, until, that is, his son's story made its way to the boy's hero.
Nashville Predators defenseman P.K Subban recorded a video with words of encouragement for the young man.
Ty started getting bullied at a tournament last spring. Since then, it's only gotten worse. It's not just the players either. Matthew shared on Reddit that even parents call his son racist insults.
It's a lot for a child to endure. So much that Matthew was considering pulling Ty from the sport. However, the father of one of Ty's teammates was able to tell Subban the story.
Awesome doesn't begin to describe it.
"Great video. Also I laughed because he keeps almost putting his hand to his pocket and then taking it out immediately."
Subban recorded the video during a game against the Detroit Red Wings.
"I can tell you this right now: As long as you're still breathing in this world, you've got to believe in yourself and let nobody tell you what you can and can't do, especially if it's because of the color of your skin."
The words of support touched everyone who saw it.
"Does your sons team have room on the roster for a 6'3 210lb enforcer that is totally not 28?...."
"PK's just taking a minute out of his day to do this, but can you think of the lifelong impact it'll have on the kid? Made me smile. Sometimes all it takes is a brief act of kindness to make a huge impact."
Ty became a fan of Subban several years ago, when the athlete was with the Montreal Canadiens. Subban's aggressive style of play made a fan of the young boy, who now owns tons of Subban's merchandise. Ty even plays wearing the number 76 on the ice.
Subban himself receives racist insults, with fans throwing trash and calling him the n-word. He is one of nine black NHL players in the league.
It's sad racism can be so blatant.
"This is awesome. I hope your son takes this to heart and doesn't let racism stop him from doing what he loves.Side note: are the parents getting in trouble for the bullying their kids are doing?"
"That's fantastic! How did this get set up?
Also, sorry to hear that your son is being bullied - because that's what it is. Sending best wishes to your son and hopefully the taunting stops sooner than later because that's unacceptable."
"This is a very serious problem that the coaches, refs and league administrators need to address with a zero tolerance policy."
"No room for racism or any other type of bigotry in hockey, any other sport, or this world. The more public figures that step up to stamp it out, the better. Rival on the ice, partner off of it. Thanks PK!"
Ty was very excited to receive the message. In an interview with NHL.com, Matthew said:
"Saturday night he received the message and went nuts. He has probably watched the video 500 times. That night he had a game, and I have never seen him happier to go."
We hope things will get better for Ty and we can't wait to see what he does in the future!