Manti Te’o, more than just an athlete
“All he had known about Bridget, all he had been told through a mutual friend, was that Bridget’s brain tumor was finally proving too powerful and that she wasn’t going to get out of the hospital again. And she loved Notre Dame football and Manti Te’o.” (Greg Couch)
Athletes in society today are idolized and looked up to as role models. They are in the spotlight because they chose to be. Too often professional athletes are making news for the wrong reasons. Too often athletes fail to be the proper role model for kids today. Fortunately, we find hope in one young athlete making a difference for others in his life.
Manti Te’o, 21, is a linebacker for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and is in the running for the Heisman this season. He’ll go high in the NFL Draft and is beloved by thousands of fans. He has it all. Or does he? Te’o recently lost his girlfriend and grandmother on the same day, yet he played the next game to honor them. He’s a man of faith and does things for others out of the goodness of his heart. The following story by Greg Couch is about his email to the parents of a dying 12-year-old.
Te’o’s story should serve as an example for all athletes. He didn’t even know this girl, yet he felt the desire to reach out to her family. He wrote the email from his heart and with the intent of it being solely for Bridget and her parents. Te’o did this on his own in a sincere act of compassion.
What if all athletes had the heart and desire to serve others as Manti Te’o? Too often athletes are looked up to for all the wrong reasons. It’s rare that an athlete, such as Te’o, is brought into the spotlight for something far greater than his play on the field.