While playing hockey in Michigan, 13-year-old Ty Cornett was subjected to racial slurs and threats from other opponents, and more surprisingly, parents.

The bullying started during a tournament last spring, and continued until eventually Cornett’s parents considered removing the child from hockey after an excessively bad incident earlier in the season.  

But when Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban was tipped off to the bullying by the father of one of Cornett’s teammates, the professional hockey player texted Cornett a video offering the youth words of encouragement.

Subban recorded the video while playing against the Detroit Red Wings in Little Caesars Arena, nearly 40 miles from Cornett’s home in Plymouth.


"I can tell you this right now: As long as you’re still breathing in this world, you’ve got to believe in yourself and let nobody tell you what you can and can’t do," says Subban in the video. "Especially if it’s because of the color of your skin."

"… I just want to tell you that when you’re playing hockey, you play because you love the game and you want to play. Let nobody take that away from you."

Subban is no stranger to racism. As one of nine active black NHL players, Subban has had racial slurs and trash thrown at him by hockey fans at times.

The video was posted on Reddit by user hockey7676, one of Cornett’s parents. They detailed his experiences in the comments:

Reddit

Subban’s words impacted Cornett. "Saturday night he received the message and went nuts," said Cornett’s father, Matthew, to NHL.com. “He has probably watched the video 500 times.”

"This has meant the world to Ty," said Matthew. "As a parent, I cried when I saw the video. It's been very tough to hear your son called horrible things.

"This video meant as much to my wife and I as it did to Ty."

Subban’s video seems to have given Cornett the encouragement he needed. According to Matthew, “That night he had a game, and I have never seen him happier to go."

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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