‘Safety’ portrays struggles of college athletes

Disney+ recently released “Safety” on the streaming platform. It’s a movie based on the true experience of former Clemson University football player Ray McElrathbey and the difficulty of playing college football while being a first-year college student.

The movie became available to subscribers Dec. 11, 2020 and received an 82% score on Rotten Tomatoes. This heartwarming sports story is put on the big screen and brought to life. 

The story starts by showing a struggling new Clemson football team and how players are fighting their way to make the team during the 2005 season. Main character Ray McElrathbey, or “Ray Ray,” is a freshman running back aspiring to make the team his first year.

Throughout the film, you see the challenges and perks of being a student-athlete as Ray manages his new career. Ray was doing well until a family crisis took his mind out of the game. He finds himself taking in his little brother, juggling football and being a student all at the same time. All these challenges cloud his judgment and time management, inevitably leading to disaster striking. 

After all the hardships, however, Ray finds himself on the final roster and managing school and a new lifestyle just fine. 

I didn’t know much about the background information, but it was easy to follow and stay focused on the plot. Despite not knowing the backstory before the movie, by the end it had me wanting to know more about it.  

The story was well-written and didn’t hold back any punches when dealing with tougher subjects. One of the unique aspects of the film was showing the mental imagination from Ray’s perspective when he made certain decisions. 

The film added smaller details like playful scenes about Ray’s brotherly bond or growing up with no parental figures, but still enjoying life. It added a family element to the movie, which was touching because it makes you want to be grateful for what you have in your life.  

This movie seemed to have a good reflection based on the true story. I think some aspects might have been dramatized for the film, but the majority of the story seemed spot-on and represented their personal story well. 

I really enjoyed this movie and thought it was a great family movie for all ages. Watching this will make you feel happy and sad, but you will find that happy medium as the story continues. I recommend this to any football fan.