Like most college athletes, Mustapha Heron wants to make a difference. The only difference is that Heron not only wants to make a difference on the basketball court, but also in the community. The five star recruit has expressed interest in adding an orange patch to the Auburn men's basketball team's jerseys. He is planning on speaking with school officials about the issue as soon as possible. He has made it clear that he hopes he can get this patch on the school's jerseys before his time at Auburn is up.
The idea of using the orange patch originated last year in the New York AAU program, with a team known as the Rens. Last year, Heron and his half brother were members of that team. Orange become a part of the program's uniforms after a members of the team had been shot by a gun in New York City. Orange is usually the color that is most identified with gun violence and for spreading awareness against it. The players, ranging from the third grade through the eleventh grade, were the ones who thought of the idea of spreading awareness for gun violence. Their coaches embraced their idea with open arms.
Mustapha hopes to bring "wear orange" campaign to the school after he gets settled in the Auburn student body. Originally, it was started two years ago with some students from Chicago, and has now spread to other places due to the popularity of the Rens' message. The Rens are now affiliated with two gun violence prevention groups, Everytown USA and Sandy Hook Promise. Members of the team have been educated all about gun violence, and have even incorporated lessons into their practices.
I really like what the Rens have done with this issue in their community. I think that their message must have strongly impacted Mustapha Heron. I hope that Mustapha can accomplish his goal of of getting the patch on Auburn's jersey. I think that others schools and organizations should take a look at what this kid is doing and at what the Rens have done, and follow in their footsteps by taking action on this issue. I believe that Auburn will accept Heron's proposition. I think that this is one way that sports can help people in this country through major issues that we have to go through.