Retired Globetrotter ‘Special K’ speaks out against bullyingWritten by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
By Chase Will
Since retiring from the Harlem Globetrotters in February, Kevin “Special K” Daley has started The Kevin Daley Youth Foundation, which raises awareness of bullying in schools.
“The foundation’s new, but the cause is not,” Daley said. “I truly, truly believe we’re not doing enough to give the kids a voice and raise awareness to what’s going on. Bullying is swept under the rug. Kids are hurting themselves and committing suicide over bullying, and a lot of schools aren’t giving it as much importance as it should have.”
A 10-year basketball veteran, Daley uses his fame as a springboard for creating an atmosphere of open discussion with youth.
“I know these kids love what I do as a Harlem Globetrotter, with the basketball tricks and the high energy that I have, so I use that to my advantage to get their attention,” Daley said. “So I go into the schools with this high-energy program, show the kids some tricks and get them involved, which is very, very important.”
With his program, Daley teaches kids how to stand up to bullying as well as how to help if they see someone being bullied.
“Some kids don’t realize they’re being bullies themselves,” Daley said. “They think they’re just having fun when they’re name-calling or hitting each other, and unfortunately some parents feel the same way. But once I go into a school and teach what a bully really is, maybe some kids realize they’re doing something wrong. Sometimes you can’t just get mad at the bully immediately, because they just don’t know any better. We have to educate them and continue to educate them.”
Daley said he is hoping to bring his program to Northwest Ohio on May 9. The decision originated in a conversation with Joni Meyer-Crothers of Sylvania, whose son has been the victim of bullying.
“My son’s been bullied pretty significantly in the school system, so I just reached out to Kevin because he’s played a big part in the U.S. Department of Education’s anti-bullying program, and he’s a big motivational speaker at schools,” Meyer-Crothers said. “I told him my son’s being bullied, and he took my son under his wing. After a few more bullying instances, I spoke to him again and he decided he wanted to come into town and reach out to the schools.”
Daley’s foundation is also competing in the Most Valuable Philanthropist competition, in which more than 40 professional athlete-based charity nominees can be voted on up to three times daily for a chance to win $100,000 for their organizations. Voting is open to the public until May 15 at https://givkwik.com/campaigns/2014-asu, and the top 10 foundations will be invited to a banquet in Chicago, where a committee will select the winner.
“I’m very excited because this is a contest that means a lot to me,” Daley said. “Once I started being part of this contest and letting people know what my foundation is doing, people came out of nowhere and started telling me their stories. I didn’t start until four days after voting already began, so the others had a lead on me and I was in dead-last place, and today I’m already in fourth place. So that tells you about the support and that people truly believe this is a good cause. I’m loving it!”
For more information on Daley’s organization, follow him on Twitter (@mrtrotter21), or visit the website www.kevindaleyspeaks.com.