By Hollywood Hernandez
Safety is a new movie available on Disney+. It tells the true life story of Clemson safety Ray McElrathbey, played very ably by Jay Reeves.
He’s an outstanding freshman football player but his life is turned upside down when his mother is sent to drug rehab and he has to sneak his young brother, Fahmarr, played
by 11-year-old Tadeous J. Mixson, onto campus to live with him in his dorm room.
Ray’s girlfriend is played by Corinne Foxx. She’s the daughter of Jamie Foxx, and Safety is her first feature film. She’s sweet and helpful in the film and is a strong part of Ray’s support system for his little brother. A real tender moment in the film is when she teaches Fahmarr how to dance for his first school dance.
Director Reginald Hudlin (House Party) does a great job of mixing in some comedic moments with the melancholy drama of the film. As more and more people learn about Ray’s situation with his brother, he eventually has to tell the head coach and face an NCAA commission to get permission to raise his brother while on a college scholarship.
The NCAA has strict rules about family members receiving any kind of special benefits, such as a free meal or even a ride to school.
The football scenes in the movie are incredible. The movie was actually shot at Clemson Memorial Stadium in front of a stadium filled with extras and all of the game action has the feel of a real football game.
Safety is a very inspirational film and shows the love between two brothers. It’s also an example of the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child.
While in the beginning Ray tries to take care of his brother on his own he eventually learns that his friends and teammates want to pitch in and do their part and there is no shame in accepting that help.
The two brothers eventually ended up on The Oprah Winfrey Show and got the opportunity to tell their story on national TV.
By the way, in real life, the brothers’ drug-addicted mother was convinced to sign away her rights to Fahmarr, and Ray has been his legal guardian for the past 14 years. Safety is a crowd pleaser that you will enjoy from the opening kick-off to the final gun. On my “Hollywood Popcorn Scale,” I rate Safety a JUMBO!