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"What UGLI is doing for everyone is letting you know you are not alone and people, even like me, have been bullied."
You guys know me as America’s caddie from ESPN and EPSN+ and I know you might be thinking “There’s no way he got bullied.” But yeah, I did. In the 8th grade. I used to have to take two city buses to get to school because the school I went to wasn’t close to where I lived. On that second bus ride there was one kid that every day going to school would push me, try to knock me down and tell me he wanted to fight me, but I didn’t want to do that. It bothered me every day and I felt alone and ugly, and like somebody didn’t like me and was out to get me for no reason whatsoever. The fact that I’m telling you this well after I’m out of junior high and 8th grade is letting you know this happens to a lot more people than you realize. What UGLI is doing for everyone is letting you know you are not alone and people, even like me, have been bullied and, yeah, it affects you and stays with you for all of your life. The more we can do to help, the better. Thanks for hearing my story because this is the first time I’ve told it.
"Anti-bullying is a cause that's really near to my heart as someone that can speak firsthand about the negative impact that it had on their life."
Anti-bullying is a cause that’s really near to my heart as someone that can speak firsthand about the negative impact that it had on their life. When I was a young girl a few boys said some offhanded comments to me. Now I’m sure they didn’t mean for it to have the lasting negative impact that it did, but it ended up resulting in about a six year battle with anorexia. It took me a really, really long time for me to gain back any sense of confidence or self-worth. So the moral of the story is really think about what you’re saying whether it’s in person, whether it’s online, on social media, really think about the impact of your words and treat other people how you want to be treated.
"Our differences, not similarities, are our gifts from God. Our differences make us UGLI."
Former NFL Player
I was bullied as a kid and it was very painful. I was a heavier kid; I didn’t have all the new clothes and because my father was in the military I had to try and fit in with new kids all the time. I would come home and cry because I didn’t want to tell anyone. I felt like I would look weaker for telling someone I was being bullied than when I was actually being teased at school. Every single person deserves to be happy no matter how they look or act. My outlet became a sport. A sport I eventually became really good at. I’ll never forget one of my bullies became a fan of mine as an adult and asked for my autograph for their kid.
It should be a lesson to treat everyone the same because everyone has value whether you see it now or not. You are important and you don’t need anyone else to see it. Find your value and protect it. Don’t let anyone take your joy. Joy is a choice you make every day to block them out in your own pursuit of happiness. Many people who bully are people that hate themselves. Accept yourself and all your flaws, embrace your differences. Our differences, not similarities, are our gifts from God. Our differences make us UGLI.
"As teachers and coaches, we see firsthand the effects bullying has on our students and athletes."
High School Teacher and Coach
As teachers and coaches, we see firsthand the effects bullying has on our students and athletes. Often, we witness a change or drop in attendance, grades, attitude, social life, and general wellbeing. Bullying occurs not only in schools, but often outside of school on social media. It’s unwarranted, unneeded, happens everywhere, every day, and more frequently than we know. It is so wonderful to see the UGLI Brand and The UGLI Foundation recognize this ongoing issue and bring it to the forefront. This awareness has never been more needed in our society, and it is something we can all get behind. The truth is we are ALL uniquely gifted loved individuals, and each of us have the ability to lift someone up and love on them.
"I hid from myself when I would hear, 'being gay disqualified me from being treated with respect..."
Oftentimes people can become insecure about things which otherwise wouldn’t cause them to feel shame. That insecurity can arise from hurtful things they hear or sense from others. I felt that shame and insecurity about being a gay man. It’s no secret that many in the LGBT+ community have been subjected to bullying through violent means, but the most harmful bullying comes unspoken and unnoticed. I hid from myself when people would say, ‘loving another man was gross’. I hid from myself when I would hear, ‘being gay disqualified me from being treated with respect.’ I hid not just from my authentic self, but I hid my authenticity from others. I was effectively bullied into presenting myself in a way that made others comfortable. I was not comfortable. Then I found the UGLI Brand, and the most incredible thing happened… I stopped hiding because I knew the bullies were also insecure. I realized I was unique, and I was loved. I was able to form more substantial relationships with others. I began to explore my own interests. Now I am able to lend my humanity—my full humanity—to the benefit of everyone around me. It feels amazing.
"People find ways to be really ugly to one another...the UGLI Brand changing the perspective and narrative of that word is so important."
Former NFL Player
There are not a lot of things I hate in this world, but bullies are one of them, and bullying is the epidemic that society doesn’t talk enough about. Growing up super poor, single mother household, dad in jail most of my life, materialism not at all prevalent – I got made fun of because of that. When you think about kids, they can’t control what they’re born into. It’s unfortunate when other kids or adults point out those disparities or treat them differently. Now enter social media and it’s not a kid thing, it’s adults and how we treat one another. It keeps getting worse. Bullying doesn’t discriminate, it’s race, gender, all of the above. People find ways to be really ugly to one another, which is why the UGLI Brand is changing the perspective and narrative of that word. So many of us are uniquely gifted and loved and individualism should be celebrated. While playing sports, I used football to take out anger and overcome my issues from being bullied, and that shouldn’t be the case. Kudos to the UGLI Brand. It’s amazing and I know it’s needed. Let’s try to make some change and treat each other better.
Share Your Story
Join the conversation and help us inspire others to be UGLI. Tell us about the bullying that changed your life and how you realized you were UGLI. Let’s be UGLI together!