Not all heroes wear capes. Kyle Richard wears a SUNY Cortland football uniform.
In summer 2017, the now college junior went to an off-campus party and helped stop a man from allegedly sexually assaulting a girl in the bathroom. Richard was shot twice in the process.
On Wednesday, his actions were recognized by the former Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, at the Biden Courage Awards ceremony in New York. The awards, hosted by It’s On Us and the Biden Foundation, awarded Richard the Biden Courage Award for Bystander Intervention.
The award was presented by actor Adam DeVine, who recounted Richard’s story about that night and his recovery process.
“Since this incident, Kyle has become an advocate working at SUNY Cortland and in the local community to raise awareness on sexual assault and the importance of being a bystander,” Devine said as he presented Richard with the award.
The award was sponsored by the National Football League, so Richard was also presented with a letter from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Let’s backtrack to that night at the off-campus party.
Richard was at a party in Long Island, New York, when he heard noises coming from behind the door of the bathroom and broke through it with his shoulder. When the door opened, he saw a frightened woman and a man who appeared to be trying to assault her. Richard helped scare the man away, but it wasn’t over then. As soon as the linebacker and captain of the football team chased the man to the front yard, an altercation began.
The man was carrying a gun. And even though the man was slowly backing away, Richard and police say the man pulled his gun and fired three rounds.
Two of those three bullets struck Richard, one in each leg. Both bullets missed major arteries and bones by millimeters, according to a SUNY Cortland press release. Through intense rehabilitation, Richard was able to return to the football field the next fall semester.
Now Richard is an advocate for victims of sexual assault. And this isn’t the first award he’s received for his actions. Last March, SUNY Cortland said, he was presented with a Next Generation Award from Kristin’s Fund.He was also the guest speaker at Utica College’s Take Back the Night March in April.
He’s been actively involved with sexual assault awareness events around campus.
“(Richard) exemplifies the type of active and selfless engagement with the world that we encourage in all our students,” SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum said in a statement. “Needless to say, we are incredibly proud that he is part of the SUNY Cortland community.”
When Richard shared his story on social media, he received an outpouring of support.
“I will dedicate myself to helping ‘males’ turn into ‘men’ by continuing to lead by example,” Richard wrote on Instagram after winning the Next Generation Award. “Let our generation be the change.”
CNN reached out to Richard for comment but has not yet received a response.