Of all the things Boston Scott thought he’d be doing this spring and summer, becoming an amateur speech therapist wasn’t one of them. But that doesn’t mean he’s unhappy about it — in fact, he feels blessed to be able to help.
Scott has been in his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, during the NFL’s virtual offseason, and that means the 25-year-old Philadelphia Eagles running back has had time to help his father, Anthony, relearn how to speak. Anthony suffered a stroke in 2018 that affected the right side of his body, and while he’s regained much of his body movement, speaking is still a problem. Scott told NJ Advance Media that he and his sister, Alana, stepped in when Anthony’s speech therapist was forced to suspend treatment due to COVID-19.
“I was able to sit in on a couple of his speech therapy sessions and I was able to see kind of what the therapist was doing, and she did a great job with him,” Scott told NJ Advance Media. “She was doing some things with him that I figured I could do.”
Scott now meets with his father at least twice a week to work on his speech, and he’s even come up with a game to help his dad whenever he gets frustrated.
“Just trial and error, I guess, let me see if there’s something I could associate with his memory and try to apply that to speech therapy,” Scott told NJ Advance Media. “When he can’t pronounce a word, I get him to sing his ‘ABC’s’, which I think is a staple in a lot of our minds. Singing your ‘ABC’s,’ that’s something you can remember from your childhood.”
Scott is also happy that he and his father can make up for lost time. Anthony and Scott’s mother, Earnestine Johnson, divorced while he was in grade school. While Anthony would often call and bond with his son over football, they lived in different towns and didn’t see each other much while Scott was growing up.
“It’s obviously not ideal for either of us, because he can’t communicate with me the way he wants to, but being able to sit down with him and talk a little bit about things has been a really cool experience for me,” Scott said. “That’s something that I didn’t have as much growing up.”
Anthony’s communication difficulties get in the way of a lot of things, but they haven’t stopped him from supporting his son.
"Even with the stroke, he would call me after games and do the best he can to communicate,” Scott told 6ABC. “I knew what he was trying to say, he was proud of me. You could just tell in his voice and how excited he was.”
More from Yahoo Sports: