Time now for us to award our NewsDepth A+... And this week it goes to an NFL kicker, who is picking a fight off the football field. And his opponent -- is bullying.
As Erika Gonzales reports, it all started when the football star met a young bullying victim.
--REPORTER PKG-AS FOLLOWS--
THIS HOME VIDEO SHOWS 11 YEAR OLD RYDER HILLERY PLAYING BALL WITH SOMEONE WHO ON THAT DAY BECAME HIS FRIEND AND HERO - BRONCOS KICKER BRANDON MCMANUS
THIS MOMENT WOULD FOREVER CHANGE BOTH OF THEIR LIVES.
RYDER IS LIKE YOUR TYPICAL YOUNG BOY- FULL OF ENERGY WITH A DEEP LOVE OF FOOTBALL
BUT UNLIKE MOST 11 YEAR OLDS, RYDER TALKS A LITTLE DIFFERENT AND WALKS A LITTLE DIFFERENT.
HE HAS DOWN SYNDROME.
HIS MOM SEASON HILLERY LIVES FOR HER 5 KIDS
AND WAS CRUSHED THE DAY SHE LEARNED NEIGHBORS WERE BULLYING HIM.
(Season Hillery, Ryder's Mother): "And making fun of how Ryder walks and how Ryder talks. It was really hard."
DESPERATE FOR HELP SHE REACHED OUT TO THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN DOWN SYNDROME ASSOCIATION.
THE GROUP DIDN'T HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE IT STOP- BUT HAD AN IDEA.
(Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos' Kicker): "I was approached by who kinda told me a story about Ryder"
MCMANUS HAD TO DO SOMETHING AND DECIDED TO SHOW UP AT RYDER`S HOUSE TO DO THE THING HE LOVES MOST.
Natsot:"we basically played until the sun went down."
(Season Hillery, Ryder's Mother): "I just couldn't believe it'
(Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos' Kicker): "I wanted his mom to feel a sense of security. That maybe someone is out there trying to help her son.'.
HILLERY SAYS RYDER GAINED CONFIDENCE THAT DAY AND A NEW SOURCE OF JOY.
(Season Hillery, Ryder's Mother/over VO): "Everyday he watches the video. There are not even words that can explain our gratitude to him. "
THE AFTERNOON LEFT A LASTING IMPRESSION ON MCMANUS TOO.
IT INSPIRED HIM TO START THE ANTI-BULLY SQUAD.
(Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos' Kicker): "It is tough to officially stop it. But just to try to prevent it and give paths for people to talk to. I've played in big football games in my career. but just seeing his smile on his face and his mom's face, it`s the most rewarding thing that I've ever taken in my life."
Many kids and even adults experience bullying. We want to hear from you – after voting in our survey, write to us and let us know your suggestions and ideas that would help stop or prevent bullying.