Yankees Aaron Judge taking a stand against social media negativity with #icanhelp
Like we needed another reason to adore Yankees superstar Aaron Judge, the injured right fielder has thrown his support behind #icanhelp, an Internet movement out to do away with negativity and cyberbullying.
As Linus from the classic comic strip “Peanuts” once said, “I’ve learned three things to never discuss with people: religion, politics and The Great Pumpkin.” If Linus were an actual human being in the year 2018, he’d probably include a few more things not to discuss, especially on social media. But that’s where Yankees superstar Aaron Judge comes in.
The son of two longtime educators, Aaron Judge’s family friends and Californian educators, Matt Soeth and Kim Carr have launched the social media initiative #icanhelp.
With the Yankees in Oakland to take on the A’s in a three-game series, Judge, who’s been out of action with a fractured right wrist since July 26, visited an #icanhelp gathering on Monday.
Judge, who grew up in nearby Linden, Calif. was on-hand to further the message he recently launched through The Players’ Tribune, in association with Sharpie. Per The Mercury News:
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"“In this world, there’s a lot of negativity, and that’s kind of what I’ve seen on social media,” Judge said in a public service announcement. “That’s the norm. But if you can kind of go outside your own lines and spread your own lines and spread positivity online, that’s kind of the main goal.”“Whenever you’re given something negative,” Judge said in the PSA, “you always have to turn it into a positive.”"
Part of #UNCAPTHEPOSSIBILITIES, athletes from different sports have been asked to support a specific cause, and this was Judge’s.
Anyone that’s been on social media for more than five minutes can tell you that social platforms are often misused — with hate-speech and toxic behavior running rampant. In recent years, sports have become a frequent target for keyboard warriors to have it out over just about anything that strays from one specific and differing viewpoint.
Luckily, Aaron Judge is using his celebrity to bring awareness to this anti-bullying message. During Monday night’s 6-3 defeat to the A’s, 250 students were in attendance, dressed in #ALL RISE TO HELP shirts, commemorating the reigning AL Rookie of the Year’s involvement.
With assemblies in 15 states, #icanhelp teaches young people to use social media for positive purposes only. Instead of instilling fear in online users, this initiative empowers those using social media to call-out energy vampires and bullies — potentially barring these offenders from any further use of these influential and far-reaching platforms.
As Matt Soeth told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, #icanhelp acts as a beacon of hope for future social media users.
"The #ICANHELP hashtag operates as a “bat signal,” Soeth said, for teenagers to mobilize and help not only conquer people who cross the line, but also provide a support system for victims who cope with the resulting depression and anxiety."