NFL player takes up Irish dancing to help boy being bullied

"I put myself in his shoes and imagined him trying to chase his dreams and people making fun of him"

Modern sportspeople will try anything in the pursuit of the marginal gains that turn contenders in to champions.

Tom Brady does pilates, for John Terry it is yoga. The least likely extracurricular activity is rince. The least likely person to do that is NFL running back, Alex Collins.

The reasons Collins took up Irish dancing are twofold. One, he believes it helps with his footwork and conditioning.

The other reason he put on the pumps for the first time was completely selfless, Collins wanted to help a boy being bullied because he was taking part in Irish dancing.

“People don’t want to be the first person. They don’t want to be that person that’s being made fun of," Collins said in an interview on the Ravens website.

“This little kid, I put myself in his shoes and I just imagined him trying to chase his dreams and people making fun of him and then him possibly quitting when that could be something that he really pursued in the future.

“I have my own little routine. I have my own hard shoes and everything.

“People made fun of me, and I’m like, ‘It helps with my footwork and my conditioning.

“The hardest thing is trying to jump without using my arms, because in football we jump and use our arms to help us.”

“I'm like a chicken running around trying to keep one arm down and my other arm is flapping around.”