“It costs nothing to be kind.”

“Everyone is going through their own battle.”

”In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

These are just a few of the inspirational messages seen throughout social media in trying times. For the Crimson Tide football team, however, a new message to follow presented itself.


Ernie Johnson, a broadcaster for Turner Sports, visited Tuscaloosa on Wednesday to come and talk to the Crimson Tide football team. Johnson is the second guest speaker to visit the Crimson Tide ahead of the college football season, joining Major League Baseball legend Alex Rodriguez, who made the trip to Tuscaloosa late last week.

The speech starts off discussing his family’s adoption of a child from Romania. While making the trip to officially adopt him, the Johnson’s received a startling comment from the child’s caretakers.

“When the nurse handed him to me, she said ‘Don’t take this boy, he is no good,” said Johnson. Shortly after being adopted, the child, named Michael, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a rare disorder that attacks and weakens a human’s muscles.

Johnson continued by sharing the story of how a high school basketball coach met Michael and placed him on the team to “show the guys maximum effort and to teach them to have a heart for others.”

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However, the moral of the speech persisted: be a better human.

“When you step away from your agenda, and notice there are moments that could make somebody's life better, that’s all I try to teach,” said Johnson in his speech. “When you wake up in the morning and say ‘how can I make somebody's life better today?’”

Sports are powerful. The saying “It’s more than a game,” not only continues to hold true, but also impacts others in multiple ways.

Athletes, especially in college football, have a huge platform, and whether the players know it or not, they are inspiring the younger generation by their on field talent, and off-the-field leadership.

Johnson’s speech on how one person can impact a team is a story that can motivate and empower others. It only takes one person to create a wave of change, and value that it brings is limitless.

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