Tennessee Comes to Aid of Bullied Vol Fan

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    (Photo via @UTVolShop on Twitter)

    It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity surrounding the Tennessee football program right now, but there’s some good news that will bring a smile to your face as the Vols head into their Week 2 match-up with BYU this Saturday.

    Earlier this week, Laura Snyder, a teacher down in Tallahassee, Florida, made a post on Facebook about one of her elementary school students who is a Tennessee fan. The unnamed student was excited to participate in the school’s “college colors day,” but the young Vol fan didn’t own a Tennessee shirt himself.

    “This particular child came to me and told me that he wanted to wear a University of Tennessee shirt, but he didn’t have one,” Snyder said in her post. “We discussed that he could wear an orange shirt to show his spirit. He told me every day leading up to it that he had an orange shirt that he was going to wear. So when the day finally arrived, he was SO EXCITED to show me his shirt.

    “I was impressed that he took it one step further to make his own label.”

    The young student took an orange shirt he already owned and created a design on a white piece of paper that he stuck to the front of the shirt. The design had a big “UT” on it with “University of Tennessee” written between the two letters.

    (Photo via Laura Snyder on Facebook)

    Though her student was proud of his work, apparently not everyone shared in his joy.

    “Some girls at the lunch table next to his (who didn’t even participate in college colors day) had made fun of his sign that he had attached to his shirt. He was DEVASTATED,” Snyder wrote. “I know kids can be cruel, I am aware that it’s not the fanciest sign, BUT this kid used the resources he had available to him to participate in a spirit day.”

    The post from Snyder went viral, and the University of Tennessee stepped in to make sure the young Vol fan was taken care of.

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    The official Vol Shop Twitter account tweeted out a picture on Friday afternoon of a huge care package UT sent to the school for the student, his teacher (Laura Snyder), and the student’s entire class.

    Amelia Young of WBIR News in Knoxville also shared a picture of the student receiving his care package, as well as the young fan decked out in his new Tennessee apparel. Young also added that the man in the jersey in the picture is a UT alum who paid to overnight the package so he could hand deliver it to the young Vol fan himself.

    But that’s not all.

    The official Vol Shop Twitter account also posted on Friday that a shirt featuring the student’s design will now be able to be ordered by Vol fans everywhere. Pre-orders are now being accepted with a late September delivery date expected. The Vol Shop also noted that a portion of proceeds from every shirt sold will be donated to STOMP Out Bullying.

    There may be a lot of bad news surrounding Tennessee’s football program right now, but there’s still plenty of good in the Vol fan base as well. This is a perfect example of what happens when Vol fans come together to help a fellow fan in need.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.