Chicago Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long reached out to a 9-year old boy who’s been bullied over the past three years in school due to his weight.
“Apart from the fact that they are really big Bears fans, they just seem like really good people,” Long told ESPNChicago.com on Monday. “You can only do and say so much to try and help your kid, but at a certain point you turn your child over to the school, and for most of the day, you just hope things go smoothly.
“Andrew is a really nice, smart and energetic kid. With any place, there is always going to be some bad apples that make things not go as well as you would like.”
The bullying was so bad that the boy had to change schools.
“It had reached the point where Andrew couldn’t handle it anymore,” Oyston told ESPNChicago.com on Monday. “He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to talk to anybody. The principal got involved and he obviously wasn’t happy with it, but something had to happen because this wasn’t stopping.
“As a parent, you want to do so much more in these situations, but you really can’t. So I thought maybe I could get somebody else involved.”
The boys father ended up reaching out to the Long on Twitter and he ended up responding.
Long wanted to ride the bus with the boy, but that wasn’t an option so they figured out another way he could encourage him.
“Initially I just saw a dad that was in a tough spot with a kid that was obviously going through some things,” Long said Monday. “As somebody that didn’t have the best elementary and middle school experience, I can relate a lot to what Andrew is going through. I didn’t know his specific situation, but the riding of the bus deal was kind of tough for me as well [as a child].
“I wanted to jump on this as soon as I could. We took about a couple months for everything to come to fruition and for me to meet the kid. But it was worth it. It was good for both of us.”
The long-awaited meeting occurred Saturday at a Chuck E. Cheese in Crystal Lake, Illinoi
s, where the Oystons were celebrating their daughter Riley’s 8th birthday.
— Kyle Long (@Ky1eLong) May 4, 2014