No One’s Perfect, And Drew Brees Will Tell You Why
Everyone is born with imperfections. From a distinct facial feature to a certain hair color, there is one trait that sets each person apart from all others. Unfortunately, these traits are sometimes the springboard for others to bully or make fun of people. For NFL Quarterback Drew Brees, a birth mark on his right cheek set him apart from others and caused him to be the target of hurtful comments throughout his childhood. He is using his imperfection, though, to show others how to embrace their differences.
The visible birthmark on the face of the famed quarterback could easily be removed with plastic surgery. Drew Brees has earned hundreds of millions of dollars during his career and could easily afford the procedure, but he refuses to do so, stating that the ignorance of others is not reason enough to deny who he is.
In his autobiography, “Coming Back Stronger,” Brees wrote that he chooses to see his birthmark as a unique trait and something that makes him special, reported Upworthy. The unfair reality is that someone is always going to find a reason to make fun of you, Brees said. As a child, he was dubbed as “spot” and told to “wipe that whatever off your face.” The ridiculing was trying at times, but as Brees gained success, he decided his birthmark could be a platform to teach others how to be more tolerant.
In 2010, Brees joined forces with the It Gets Better Movement to show children that making fun of people for their differences breeds ignorance. The NFL player has used the platform to educate others about the hurt that bullying causes, citing that people who make fun of others are not anyone he would choose to hang around. In a Public Service Announcement, reported on NBC Sports, Brees pleas with the general public to put a stop to bullying. He vows that there is support for those who are bullied, including himself. Brees also advocates for appreciating people for their differences – with or without birthmarks.
Bullying often leads to fatal damage to a person’s well-being, according to Brees. In fact, the link between bullying and suicide was documented in a study by Yale University, as reported by Bullying Statistics. People who are bullied are between two to nine times more likely to contemplate suicide than those who are not bullied. In addition, more than half of suicides reported in Britain were attributed to bullying.
[content-ad-vert-1 align=”right”]Schools have reported that at least 30 percent of students have been victims of bullying or have exhibited the behavior of a bully. More than 160,000 children hide in fear and resort to staying home from school as a result of bullying.
Brees is committed to putting a stop to bullying through public service announcements and by using his platform as a professional athlete to educate youth nationwide. His efforts have been publicized on national television shows and in press conferences following NFL games. The birthmark stays, he says, because it is part of who he is. His message to others is that differences should be embraced and celebrated, not ridiculed.
Historically, differences have caused children and adults to be ostracized instead of celebrated. Brees has made it his quest to change this way of thinking. By using his position as a celebrity, Brees has put his birthmark – what makes him different – on display, and has vowed to preserve what makes him stand out from others. Everyone can learn something from the differences of others. Whether someone has a crippling disease, a birthmark or an accent, or any other feature or trait, finding out more about each other and offering ways to help is what Brees hopes will happen in the near future.