James Phillip Howell is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball. He has also played in MLB for the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Rays.
When he was young, J.P. Howell of the Los Angeles Dodgers says he was different than the other kids. And they bullied him for it, he told the Los Angeles Times.
"I was smaller. I was odd. I was energetic," he said. "They didn't like that. They would try to put me down. If they couldn't do it mentally, they would do it physically. It never stops. It's every single day."
Those words were sad to hear but not terribly surprising. These words, on the other hand, were jarring: "I still get bullied."
Howell is 30. He is a millionaire. He plays for the Dodgers, one of the most celebrated teams in sports.
But, as we have learned most recently from the Miami Dolphins, neither money nor fame confers immunity upon bullying.
Howell and his wife, Heather Hennessey-Howell, recently visited a group of 4-year-olds at a school not far from Dodger Stadium to talk about bullying — how it has affected Howell, why his wife wrote a book about it and why the kids shouldn't let it happen.
One of his worst personal episodes: As a rookie, Howell lost the one suit he owned — a gift from his father — which was purposely ruined by a teammate and not replaced. Howell said he was always looking over his shoulder, out of fear, for that jerk of a teammate.
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