He asked me, unprompted, as we waited quietly for the light to turn green. My heart revved. I always thought he knew.
“I love you,” I answered.
“That’s what I thought you’d say,” he replied. “But … why … why did you stick around and do everything you did?”
The answer to Dartanyon Crockett’s second question was not as tidy as the first. Because life can be a knotted mess and, sometimes, love is not enough.
Dartanyon and Leroy Sutton grubbed their way into my heart four years ago. As an ESPN television features producer at the time, I was always on the hunt for unique athlete pieces. For 10 years, I traveled the country, chronicling human-interest stories against the backdrop of sports. I covered Derek Jeter and Michael Jordan all the way down to disabled amateurs and terminally ill little leaguers who imprinted a special brand of heroics onto this world. What a privilege to be invited into their private pains and sacred celebrations.
But what I found on the wrestling mats at Cleveland’s Lincoln-West High School in 2009 caused my spirit to sink and soar, all in the same moment.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. My husband and I were crying like babies while watching this. The humanity, empathy, courage, trust, love, loyalty and selflessness shown in this story gives my heart hope. So very powerful….
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