Desiree Andrews is a middle schooler at Lincoln Middle School in Kenosha, WI, where she is a member of the cheerleading squad. Desiree is a bright, bubbly young girl who loves to cheer and dance--Desiree has Down Syndrome.
At a recent game, Desiree was cheering for the boys basketball team when a heckler began jeering and bullying her. The boys on the team responded in short order. They walked off the court, confronted the heckler, and asked their coach to make sure the bullying didn't continue.
"The kids in the audience were picking on Dee, so we all stepped forward," said player Chase Vazquez.
“So when I heard they were talking about her like, it kind of like made me mad," said teammate Miles Rodriguez.
“It’s not fair when other people get treated wrong because we’re all the same. We’re all created the same. God made us the same way," said yet another player, Scooter Terrien.
It sounds like that basketball coach is building more than b-ball skills into his team--he's building character.
The boys of Lincoln Middle School basketball team were not content to stand by and watch as another of God's precious children was bullied, ridiculed and maligned. It took great courage (and great restraint), but they did the right thing the right way -- they stepped forward and stood up for her.
We can all take a lesson out of this team's playbook. Don't stand back when others need our support or defense.
"Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause" (Isaiah 1:17, ESV).
"Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy" (Proverbs 31:8-9, ESV)
"For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!" (Ecclesiastes 4:10, ESV).