Sport

Friday 23 February 2018

The NFL star who fell in love with Irish dancing and his classy gesture to help out bullied boy

Alex Collins of Baltimore Ravens
Alex Collins of Baltimore Ravens
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins has been practicing Irish dancing for over a year and recently leveraged his fame and talent in a bid to help a bullied 12-year-old boy.

As reported by baltimoireravens.com, Collins' first taste at Irish dancing came in 2011 when he was introduced to the sport by his High School football coach's daughter, Bryanne Gatewood, who Collins calls his sister.

Collins used to watch Gatewood perform in his High School days before setting off to launch his successful NFL career. When he returned to Baltimore in 2016, Gatewood dared Collins to try his hand in Irish dancing and he duly obliged and after one session he fell in love with it.

He was even christened Mitch Finn, a nickname inspired by Michael Flatley.

Collins continues to practice Irish dancing and was recently a source of inspiration for a young 12-year-old boy who was bullied after he took up the sport.

The boy's mother, Joanne Tubbs, reached out to Collins on Twitter and he responded: "Never stop doing the things you love because someone else doesnt agree. chase your dreams Carl and don’t let them stop you from being great!."

"Big smile tonight from Carl. Thanks for the encouragement and support - I think you also have a new no. 1 fan :-)," Tubbs responded.

"I have my own little routine. I have my own hard shoes and everything," Collins said last week. "People made fun of me, and I'm like, 'It helps with my footwork and my conditioning'."

Collins revealed he was also mocked for his decision to take up lacrosse in High School. 

"You can imagine you have your group of friends and they're like, 'You're playing lacrosse!? Nooo.' I’m like, 'Yeah, it's actually a lot of fun. I get to beat people with sticks!" Collins said.

"People don't want to be the first person. They don't want to be that person that's being made fun of," added Collins.

"This little kid, I put myself in his shoes and I just imagined him trying to chase his dreams and people making fun of him and then him possibly quitting when that could be something that he really pursued in the future."

Keeping it going Alex and Carl. We salute you.

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