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Continued: 'I am somebody': Anti-bullying group challenges Yankees, guests to help make better world

  • Article by: HOWIE RUMBERG , AP Sports Writer
  • Last update: July 13, 2013 - 8:00 AM

He shared some staggering statistics: Suicide is the second-leading cause of death after car wrecks for young people and every 7 seconds someone is bullied.

He didn't let anyone off the hook, getting down on a knee to look a child in the eyes as he told him he could be the person who offers a hand.

Kirk turned to Pettitte and called him out by name, "Andy," and held up a book of letters written to the Smalley's after Ty's death.

Kirk taught everyone "Stand for the Silent's" hand sign — it's the same as the American Sign Language symbol for "I love you" — thumb out, forefinger and pinky raised high.

Kirk has a second meaning for it, "I've got your back," and he and the guests traded the gesture throughout with people in the audience raising their hand high unsolicited to show support for Kirk.

Throughout the presentation, Kirk used numbers to emphasize his torment. It was 1,166 days since Ty died. The time was 2:38 p.m. when he received the frantic phone call from his wife that awful day.

And finally, in the most assertive voice he could muster, an angry call to action, he said on Father's Day, a month and seven days after The Day, he made Ty a promise, to stop bullying in the world.

But he went on, "I can't do that alone. ... I'm not even asking you to do it for Ty."

"You got three kinds of people in your world," he said. "You got those that wish that things could happen. You've got those who make things happen. And you got those who wonder, 'What just happened?'

"Which one are you?" he asked.

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