MMA Legend Chuck Liddell Spreads Anti-Bullying Message At OKC Schools
OKLAHOMA CITY - Some local kids got a special visitor at school Thursday. Hall of Fame MMA fighter Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell is hosting the Oklahoma City Police Athletic League's annual Celebrity Fight Night, but he explained to the students that he was not always a champ.
Liddell is world-famous for being a fighter, but his message to the kids is stop the bullying because he was once a victim himself. Visiting Douglas Mid-High and MLK Elementary, The Iceman shared the story of his own youth.
“I was bullied when I was really young,” he says. “I wasn’t allowed to fight back. My mom told me I wasn’t allowed to fight, and kids were taking my stuff, taking my lunch money.”
Liddell says no one stepped in to help, until the principal encouraged his mom to let him learn to throw a punch. Many kids today still face being bullied at school, and they are his target audience.
PAL Executive Director Peter Evans says, “The kids will see someone like Chuck Liddell on TV and will see him with all the fame and all the fortune, but they don’t understand where he came from.”
PAL’s Celebrity Fight Night helps raise money for the events the officers host throughout the year, teaching kids teamwork and leadership skills. Mentorship from people like Liddell can inspire the students in other ways, though.
As cyberbullying becomes more prevalent, Liddell hopes to instill in the kids the courage to speak up when they catch bullies in the act.
He says, “You don’t have to allow people to bully people. You should stand up for people. It’s not enough to just passively not do it.”
Heading into Thursday night's sold out event, Liddell hopes the real work has already been done.
“It helps one guy not get bullied, it’s worth my time here,” he says.
If you missed out on tickets to the Fight Night, but still want to help PAL, click here.