Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell tried to make a young fan happy by following through on a Twitter bet. Unfortunately, the fan’s school district stepped in and nixed the chance for a fun story.
Ava Tarantino, 17, asked Bell if he’d be her prom date if she was able to get 500 retweets for her request. Bell responded by saying he’d go to prom if she got 600 retweets. This wasn’t just a random bet or cute joke, either. Tarantino and Bell met once before when her family attended a Steelers game, and the two have followed each other on Twitter ever since.
Then Tarantino got those 600 retweets. And Bell is apparently a man of his word, one who won’t welch on a bet.
@L_Bell26 500 rts and you'll go to prom w me
— Ava Tarantino (@avatarantino26) March 11, 2017
600 & it's a deal https://t.co/nUo76cmH8e
— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) March 11, 2017
But the Waukesha school district stepped in and said Bell cannot attend the prom with Tarantino because district policy says he’s too old for the event. (The cutoff is 19 years of age.)
Then there’s also the issue of Bell being arrested for marijuana possession in 2014, an offense that resulted in a two-game suspension. Anyone involved in drug, alcohol or violent criminal incidents can’t attend a dance, according to district policy.
welllll, a deal is a deal @avatarantino26 ……see youu at your prom 😊
— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) March 12, 2017
Yet Bell isn’t letting those restrictions prevent him from fulfilling the obligation to his young fan. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the running back will still accompany Tarantino to the prom’s opening ceremonies. Bell also intends to bring his family along, and his mother and girlfriend will do Tarantino’s make-up for the dance.
Rules are rules, and the policies regarding the age of school dance attendees and drug offenders are certainly well intended. It would’ve been nice — and fun — to make an exception for Tarantino and Bell here — but the situation also presented the Waukesha school district with an opportunity to show how seriously it takes these policies and no exceptions will be allowed.
Kudos to Bell for still being a good sport and making a fan happy, however. It would have been easy for him to point to the school district’s decision and shrug his shoulders, but he’s still showing that his word is meaningful and intends to create a fun evening.