Written by: John Newby
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently in the midst of training camp while preparing for the upcoming season, but they are taking some time to make the day special for local athletes. The team hosted Special Olympics Florida – Hillsborough County at practice on Tuesday, August 6, spending a considerable amount of time running plays with the athletes and trying to bring joy.
Buccaneers reporter Casey Phillips captured footage on Tuesday that showed multiple members of the team helping an athlete from Special Olympics Florida score a touchdown. Punter Bradley Pinion was in charge of the play as he pushed the athlete down the field. Meanwhile, tight end Tanner Hudson served as lead blocker. The big man shoved his teammates out of the way while Pinion pushed the athlete to paydirt.
However, this wasn’t the only play run by the athletes from Special Olympics Florida. Another offensive series featured one of the young athletes taking a handoff and rushing toward the right sideline. Both Pinion and Hudson made diving tackle attempts, but they were less than successful.
Untouched, the athlete raced his way to the end zone and scored a touchdown. Meanwhile, Pinion and Hudson simply attempted to regain some dignity from their failed attempts at defense. This explains why they are on special teams and offense, respectively.
Not so sure about this tackling technique from @bpinion05 and Tanner Hudson (JK) but you two, @TheRealOjHoward @_Bmitch16 @pass_the_brock and @Auclair81 are amazing for this... @soflinfo @SOhillsborough pic.twitter.com/VOwnCBb1Kx— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) August 7, 2019
Joking aside, it’s critical that NFL teams continue to work with Special Olympics and bring joy to the lives of the athletes. These NFL stars are viewed as role models for kids around the world, and having them take time out of their workday sends a very powerful message.
These athletes have a responsibility to better their local communities, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the many teams taking this job to heart. They will continue to work with Special Olympics and other organizations to bring joy to those in need, even if they are upset about a game or the regular season not playing out in their favor.