When you see New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz score the winning touchdown on TV, it's difficult to imagine that he once felt powerless off the field.
In a recent video, the football star spoke out about facing racial discrimination growing up, while lending support to a teen named Joey Kemmerling, who had been bullied for being gay.
"Sports have been a source of pain for me," explained Kemmerling. "I dealt with a lot of bullying, particularly from my school's sports teams." The teen came out in middle school, where the locker room was a place of fear and homophobia.
As part of the USA Network's Characters Unite series, Kemmerling bravely revisited the locker room -- but this time, it was at the New York Giants stadium. The visit included meeting Cruz. After touring the locker room, the two sat down to share their personal stories of bullying and how they moved forward.
"I battled some adversity when I was young about discrimination," said Cruz, who is half African-American and half Puerto Rican. "Where I grew up, the Latins were on one side and the African-Americans and everyone else were on the other side. When fights would break out, I would stand in the middle and just stay out of it. And then I would be called names and ridiculed."
"I ended up having to go through four high schools," said Kemmerling. "And in tenth grade, I made a decision that I didn't want to live anymore. I went home and I cried in my mom's arms all night. And then we worked through it."
Watch their conversation in the inspiring video above.