MLB, X Games Partner On Anti-Bullying Program 'Shred Hate'

Alan Scaia
May 21, 2019 - 2:04 pm
Shred Hate

Credit: Alan Scaia, 1080 KRLD

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Major League Baseball is working with the X Games and ESPN on a project to ​stop bullying in schools.

Texas Rangers pitcher Adrian Sampson and former Ranger Mark McLemore spoke to students at Pinkston High School in West Dallas.

"Treat people the way you want to be treated, it's just that simple," McLemore says. "If you see someone being mistreated, you stand up for right. You don't sit back and watch wrong being done."

The assembly was part of the "Shred Hate" initiative organized by MLB, the X Games and ESPN. McLemore and Sampson told students at an assembly they should do more than just refuse to bully classmates. They say kids should stand up for students who are being bullied.

"Treat people the way you want to be treated, it's just that simple," McLemore says. "If you see someone being mistreated, you stand up for right. You don't sit back and watch wrong being done."

McLemore says his mother told him to step in when he saw classmates picking on someone. Within a week, he says people were picking that classmate first for a team.

Sampson says he has learned to deal with bullies by pitching for the Rangers. When he is warming up in the bullpen in New York, he says people will throw things like batteries or "whatever they can find."

In Boston, the bullpen is right next to the front row of the stands. Sampson says people will walk up and shout insults from just a few feet away.

"I turn around and smile at them," he says. "They're like, 'Oh, we got you.' They got their self-approval at the game, thinking, 'Oh, I'm going to make this guy notice me today.'"

Sampson and McLemore told students that kindness to someone who is insulting them helped change the bully's attitude, but they say bullying is more pervasive than it was before.

Sampson says kids are targeted by cyber bullying, but ballplayers are mocked by people who can remain anonymous, too.

"They have all these Twitter accounts where it's a random name and then it's some guy behind a keyboard making fun of you," he says. "They just want to get retweeted. They just get the satisfaction, sitting at home being a nobody."

McLemore says cyber bullying can make life tougher for kids than when he was in school. Now, he says kids can be bullied at all hours of the day and night.

"You've got that machine in your hands everywhere you go, so it's right there. You're holding that hate in your hands with social media," McLemore says. "It's a lot tougher for kids to look past that because everybody's online."