In a time of peril where seemingly everyone has turned their backs on the community of Flint, two NFL players did the opposite. Justin Forsett and Torrey Smith, both of whom have never played or resided in the state of Michigan, decided to deviate from the status quo of NFL players.
In an era when polarizing figures like Johnny Manziel and Greg Hardy dominate headlines for heinous and immature acts, the good guys are often lost in the fold. Players more often than not make the news for all of the wrong reasons. But for this duo, their platforms as professional football players is an opportunity they don't want to waste.
"If it affects you, it affects all of us." - Torrey Smith
Forsett and Smith were on hand in Flint to distribute some 34,560 bottles of water, $30,000 worth of adult cleaning wipes and $5,000 worth of baby wipes to the people of Flint this week. The wipes were courtesy of Forsett's company, ShowerPill. Not only did they give hope to the people of Flint, but they also shared stories.
In talking to the children of Flint, Forsett and Smith see a visage of themselves too. Forsett and Smith both grew up in extreme poverty, living in motels and with no stability. Or as Forsett put it to the kids of Northwestern and Southwestern High School, "we were running from the repo man."
What Forsett and Smith also heard and saw were the real injustices in Flint. Something more than just headlines alone can convey.
"You’re talking about rashes on everybody. Hair falling out. Kids wearing wigs. That’s unheard of in America." - Justin Forsett
Per Sports Illustrated's report, they heard one girl say, "They’re trying to kill us," and from another child "It’s [the lead] already in me, so why change?
While the actions of these two will ultimately turn out to be a drop in the bucket in the scheme of things as this crisis plays out, it certainly isn't to the people of Flint. It means the world to them.