By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis campaigned support mayoral candidate Jim Parrelly where he spoke with Fordson High School football players about drug abuse July 28.
The topic of drug abuse was one Bettis saw first-hand when other athletes used pain medication to deal with injuries but later became addicted.
On the FHS football field, Bettis warned the athletes about the dangers of all drugs including opioids which have become an epidemic in the metropolitan Detroit area.
“I want you all to be aware of drug abuse and addiction,” he said. “There are people who can help and services available to deal with addition if help is needed.”
Following the speech Bettis posted a photo on his Twitter page with the caption, “We had a great day with these talented local athletes in Detroit supporting Jim Parrelly for mayor of Dearborn!”
As part of his campaign, Parrelly is advocating to return the city’s drug court program which was eliminated by the city council in 2012.
The $35,000-per-year program suffered grant cuts, and with no more financial support it ended in December 2012.
“I am committed to stemming the tide of addiction in the city of Dearborn with the drug court program,” Parrelly said. “We are proud to have Detroit native, NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis stand with us in this collaborative effort to raise awareness and fight opioid addiction, beginning with our youth.”
Bettis and Parrelly then attended a public fundraiser where Bettis gave a motivational speech and endorsed Parrelly for mayor.
Tickets for the event included a full dinner and photo with Bettis.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])