City of Tampa supervisor using his experiences with bullying to help others

As a supervisor with the City of Tampa, Fred Spencer loves working with and guiding kids. "It's just in my DNA," he says. Fred's been a youth director and coach for decades. "I try to mold them and give them options and ideas of what they want to do in life."

But Fred's noticed a disease, as he calls it, overtaking our children in recent years: bullying. "I would say over the past five to six years, it's at an all-time high," he says. He's seen the damage bullying can do first-hand and in the headlines.

Fred believes his new book, Anti-Bullying Through Sports, can help. It's his plea to athletes and coaches at all levels to do more to stop bullies. "This is something you can use on your platform. We have a huge platform. Sports is like our own small fraternity," Fred says. He should know. After a successful basketball career at Troy University, he went on to play professional basketball in Spain.

Fred Spencer helping the next generation 

READ: University of Florida bans TikTok on school devices and Wi-Fi, 'effective immediately'

He says basketball took him around the world, but it wasn't an easy road to get there. Fred was bullied himself as a young boy because he suffered from dyslexia. "You tell me 6-5-4. I write it down 4-5-6. You know I still struggle with that today."

He says being a basketball player helped lessen the bullying. Fred noticed kids looked up to him, which continued throughout his life. He says it's the perfect opportunity to make the world better. "I just try to lead by example," he says.

MORE: 'Coming home': High school quarterback's journey brings him to Wiregrass Ranch for senior year

His book encourages athletes to be proactive by speaking out against bullying on social media, volunteering at anti-bullying events, and speaking to as many children as possible. 

Fred Spencer is the director at the Loretta Ingraham Center in Tampa. His book is available on Amazon and can be found by clicking here