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globe magazine | First Person

Patriots safety Patrick Chung on putting a stop to bullying

The player, who joins other local pro athletes in the new Boston vs. Bullies campaign, talks about the goodness of goofiness.

“Everybody can be that nice, genuine person,” says Patrick Chung. “Just try your hardest to make sure that comes out.”

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

“Everybody can be that nice, genuine person,” says Patrick Chung. “Just try your hardest to make sure that comes out.”

I’ve never been bullied, but I’VE SEEN KIDS GET BULLIED. I’ve seen guys who want to be tough and pick on smaller guys. Some guys bully so they can have power or seem “cool,” but it makes you look like an idiot.

I’m Chinese-Jamaican. I was born in Jamaica, left when I was 9 or 10, and went to California. I had a different accent, and people couldn’t really understand me. PEOPLE MADE FUN OF ME, not bullying, but it hurt just to get made fun of. So I can imagine what being bullied feels like.

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Boston vs. Bullies did a good job of getting people kids look up to. Maybe it will help out a little bit with athletes telling people, “Hey, don’t bully.” Maybe bullies are going to listen. SAVE THE TOUGH-GUY STUFF FOR SPORTS. When you’re playing, then you can be a tough guy, a competitor. Off the field, be the most humble, most caring, most laid-back guy on the earth, most goofy person you can be.

People tell me I have a split personality. I’M A TOTAL GOOFBALL. My mom and dad raised me to always be nice, stay humble, and keep working. So I’m a very competitive, intense goofball. I used to do pranks in college. I’d fill a trash can with water, lean it on my friends’ doors, knock on the door, and run away. Funny stuff between friends.

I’m more EAGER TO GET BACK TO FOOTBALL after the Super Bowl. You’ve got to take a couple of weeks off, of course, get your body right. But after those two weeks, it feels like football has been gone for 1,000 years. So I start to miss it.

— As told to Shira Springer.
Interview has been edited and condensed.
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