Last week, at an elementary school in Bridgewater, Mass, 45 football players wore jackets and ties to class.
It wasn't because they had a home game, or were being honored for a winning season. It wasn't because their moms made them. Rather, they were paying tribute to their water boy, 6-year-old Danny Keefe, on what they dubbed "Danny Appreciation Day."
Danny suffers from a speech impediment due to a brain hemorrhage as an infant. He wears a tie and jacket to school every day by choice. Lately, a few of Danny's classmates have started teasing him for all the above, and so his teammates decided to put a stop to it.
"We heard that Danny was getting picked on, so we thought that we'd all have a day to dress up like Danny, and come to school like Danny," quarterback Tommy Cooney, 11, told WCVB Boston through tears. "To show Danny that we love him. That we love him very much."
Other boys shared the sentiment.
"The coach calls us a band of brothers," said Jimmy Peterson, 11. "He's one of us."
Nicholas Lambert, 10, added: "We're all human and all the same. We're all created equal."
"I don't think he should be picked on because he's different," Matt Giurleo, 11, remarked. "Everyone's different. He shouldn't be picked on for who he is."
The gesture made Danny's day. His mother told the news outlet he was crying that night at bedtime because he "felt very loved."
Now, people call Danny the "Little Big Man on Campus."
Others are being touched by the story.
"I can't even put into words how moved I am after reading this story!" Christina Monasmith wrote online. "I hope those boys know how amazing they are for standing up for this amazing boy and I hope their parents are as proud of them as I am for doing such an outstanding act of love, support and courage! Those children will grow to be wonderful young men and women!"
DJ commented, "Just goes to show that peer influence can be as positive as it is too often negative. Bless all of their hearts."
"What a wonderful, wonderful story. Good job, boys!" Angela Bouchard Madore said. "And, good job to your parents for helping to raise such thoughtful, compassionate children. This is a very inspiring story and one that I hope is shared with other students about the power of positive actions."