5th grade football team rallies behind bullied special needs boy

Shereen Dindar
Contributing Writer
Shine On

A group of 5th grade Massachusetts football players have come to the rescue of a young boy with special needs being picked on.

Six-year-old Danny Keefe, the water boy for the Williams Intermediate School football team, has a speech impediment caused by a severe brain hemorrhage at birth.

The kindergartner takes a lot of pride in his job, going so far as to wear a suit and tie while delivering water to the team.

Yet somehow, a few kids at Keefe's school seemed to think his out of the ordinary attire was cause for ridicule.

When his older football buddies caught wind of the bullying, they rallied to support him with a "Danny Appreciation Day." A group of 40 students from both Keefe's school and the football team's school wore a suit and tie last Wednesday as a sign of solidarity.

"We heard that Danny was being picked on, so we thought we would have a day to dress up like him... to show Danny that we love him very much," 11-year-old quarterback Tommy Cooney tells WCVB through tears.

As Keefe's pals circled around him chanting his name, he says, "This is the best day ever."

That same night, Keefe went to bed crying tears of happiness, telling his mother he felt so loved.

The support that Keefe received is part of a wider movement of individuals and groups standing up against bullies.

This spring, a 14-year-old bullied Quebec teen spoke out against his tormentors on social media after being encouraged by an older female student, while an 11-year-old boy in Texas bravely shunned his bullies in a popular documentary.

What are your thoughts on the support Keefe received? Tell us in the comments below.