While most Tigers fans enjoyed the scheduled off-day following a difficult four game series against the formidable Texas Rangers, left-handed reliever Phil Coke was doing important work—but not on the pitcher’s mound. Tonight, Coke testified in front of the National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, and shared his his own history of childhood bullying.
Coke, who was teased because of his last name and his size as a child, told Gina Damron of the Detroit Free Press that he “wants to raise awareness in schools about bullying.” Coke also talked with the Detroit News about how he was provoked into fights by bullies as a first grader. “‘I got into a fight with a fifth-grader who was messing with my older brother, who was in the third grade,’ he said. ‘I wish I could go back and be there for myself. If I had kept my cool, I wouldn’t have gotten into so much trouble.'”
You know how some people say athletes shouldn’t be held up as role models to kids? They’re not talking about Phil Coke. This guy is a class act and a true role model in every sense of the word. I’ve gotten to see it in person, and you can tell Coke truly cares about kids. Way to go, Phil!