ESPN, X Games kick off anti-bullying campaign ‘Shred Hate’
There is a unique camaraderie within winter sports, a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood that often transcends the physical activity. This is an idea ESPN and X Games have teamed up to use through their new Shred Hate campaign, with bullying being the main target.
“Shred Hate is a bullying-prevention campaign under the umbrella of X Games. We work with some of the most experienced and best bullying-prevention programs in the world,” said Shred Hate spokesman Jack Mitrani, a former pro snowboarder who will co-host the Winter X Games in Aspen this week. “X Games has such a solid brand that people look up to. I think it’s great to see X Games using it in a way to inspire people to be nice to each other.”
The campaign kicked off last week, with Shred Hate hosting rallies in various schools in Colorado. Tuesday, Shred Hate made its way to Aspen High School, where Mitrani joined with X Games athletes Alex Ferreira and Torin Yater-Wallace in the high school commons to talk about bullying.
Ferreira and Yater-Wallace, both of whom will compete in the men’s ski superpipe finals Friday at Buttermilk, are AHS graduates.
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“They reached out to me and I’m super thankful and happy they did,” Ferreira said about getting involved with Shred Hate. “I’m so glad to be around it and talk about it and show kids possibly a way out if they are having a hard time. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
On Tuesday, Shred Hate also made stops at Glenwood Springs Middle School (featuring nine-time consecutive snowmobile snowcross gold medalist Tucker Hibbert) and Carbondale Middle School (featuring Aspen local and two-time X Games gold medalist Chris Klug).
ESPN is working with No Bully, an organization that provides “enriched bullying-prevention curriculum in schools.” Additional programs that have teamed up with Shred Hate include GLSEN, which focuses on LGBTQ students, the Crisis Text Line and DoSomething.org.
The campaign will continue to make appearances throughout this week’s X Games coverage on ESPN. And for the presenters, include Mitrani, speaking in front of a large contingent of high school students was a good warmup for the week’s live show.
“Honestly, there is nothing more nerve-wracking than standing up in front of high school students,” Mitrani said, a sentiment shared by Ferreira. “I was more nervous about coming and talking in front of a high school over millions and millions of people on TV.”
For more information on the Shred Hate campaign, visit http://www.xgames.com/shredhate.
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Many of the trails in the Roaring Fork Valley, especially from the midvalley up, are far from ready and it’s important that people stay off of them despite having cabin fever.