Eric LeGrand graduates, makes an inspirational speech at Rutgers

Eric LeGrand enters High Point Solutions Stadium at the start of Rutgers’ commencement. (Home News Tribune/ AP Photo)

Eric LeGrand spoke to Rutgers graduates Sunday, making the speech that nearly was called off, and it was wonderful.

LeGrand, who has been paralyzed since an October 2010 football game, received his degree in labor relations along with a standing ovation from the crowd.

There was a bit of bad publicity for Rutgers after Condoleezza Rice pulled out as speaker because of the threat of protests and LeGrand was invited to speak, then disinvited in favor of former Gov. Tom Kean. The university declared it a misunderstanding and had both Kean and LeGrand speak. LeGrand addressed the crowd from his motorized wheelchair, within sight of his retired number in High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. He recalled lying on the field at the old MetLife Stadium, unable to move after being injured, and later learning that he most likely will be paralyzed from the neck down for life.

“I’m moving my shoulders here. I’m moving myself forward,” he told the crowd (via “Don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t do something . . . Anything is truly possible in this world.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Cindy Boren · May 18, 2014

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