DETROIT (WJBK) - It's cool to be kind, and real players don't bully, were just a couple of the messages the Detroit Lions brought with them to a school on Tuesday.
Detroit Hutchison Elementary Middle School students played around with Lions players, cheerleaders and, of course, Roary the mascot. The east side students learned a lesson is about bullying and being bullied.
"A lot of us have - I have, I think in the third or fourth grade," said Lions linebacker Eli Harold. "I had little run-ins with bullies, but I hit a growth spurt and it ended really quick but, it was tough."
Harold was among the players sharing his time and his story. It is anti-bullying awareness month and these players know many students might be dealing with some serious stuff. They've been there, too.
"Growing up without my dad, my mom was both parents and (I lost) her at an early age," Harold said. "So whenever I can come out and give back I'm all for it."
The students created posters and sat down for a conversation with the players.
"It's impactful to share - it's impactful to do the right thing and be nice," said Lions cornerback DeShawn Shead.
"Be nice," said Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson. "Say nice words - nice words take you a long way."
Their advice to the students hit home.
"One of the Lions said treat others the way you want to be treated," said William, a student.
"Respect others and respect your parents," said Chloe Walker.
"Being strong and face your fears," said Da'Mari Cotton.
"I think it's a very good lesson and a kind lesson because it tells people not to bully because you should treat people the way you want to be treated," said Chloe Walker.
In the rough and tumble world of football - it's a lesson that means a lot more off the field.
"A lot of these kids look up to us as role models and to see and hear messages from us that we've been through the same thing," said Shead. "If they're going through anything just to give them encouragement to do the right thing if they see bullying or anything going on, it is definitely a powerful statement for us being here."