Athlete Stories

College Football Player Makes Middle Schooler’s Day


A random lunch encounter with a college football player, and a middle schooler, should inspire us all to do something kind for someone today.

There has been a lot in the news lately about Colin Kaepernick, a San Francisco 49er NFL football quarterback, and his refusal to stand for the National Anthem.

Even though Kaepernick certainly has a right to refuse to stand to make a statement, I personally don’t believe it’s the best way to make a statement.

There has been a lot of negativity related to the Kaepernick story, and I know a lot of people are not happy about his stance.

This is a break from the negativity of a major professional sports story, and has been a breath of fresh positive air, due to the kindness of a college football player.

Florida State University football players were visiting a middle school in Tallahassee, Florida. While eating lunch in the school cafeteria, one of of the FSU players, wide receiver Travis Rudolph, noticed a kid sitting my himself. Travis asked student, Bo Paske, if he could sit down and eat lunch with him.

As the Orlando Sentinel reported it, Bo said “Sure, why not?” According to Travis, he and Bo had a good conversation.

Someone took a picture of Bo and Travis eating together and sent it to Bo’s mom. The photo brought Bo’s mom to tears, as she shared in a FaceBook post, that Bo has autism and is sometimes ostracized by the other kids. She went on to remember her middle school years, and how tough of a time in life that it can be.

Seeing someone reach out to her son, and eat lunch with him meant the world to her.

A simple gesture by a kind young man lifted the spirits of a lonely middle schooler, and brought tears of joy to a loving mom. Hopefully, it will also lead other kids at Montford Middle School to give Bo a chance. It sounds like he is a pretty cool kid!

This is who we should be, this is the type of thing we should all be doing on a daily basis.

Florida State University, thank you for encouraging your athletes to get out into the community, and reach out to kids.

Travis Rudolph, you are a great young man, and an inspiration to us all!

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