GREEN BAY, WI — Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Daniels has come a long way from his humble New Jersey roots. The two-time Pro Bowler was recently profiled in Crunchyroll’s short documentary He Was Anime, where Daniels and the people around him discuss the impact his love for anime had on his upbringing and football career. Now aged 29, the 6-foot 310 pound Daniels faces a challenge much more difficult than competing and surviving in the National Football League: his local anime club.
“The first time I went to check out my local anime gathering, they called me a filthy casual because I told them my favorite anime was Dragonball Z and I could not name every single anime by [animation studio] Silver Link,” Daniels told Anime Maru after our reporter let him out of the locker he was shoved into. “It really hurt my feelings because I just wanted to fit in and talk about anime.”
Daniels is no stranger to being bullied by anime fans just because he was different. The gathering reportedly taunted Daniels for having a successful career, making millions of dollars, having a wife and children, and being in peak athletic shape.
“Maybe with your $42 million contract extension you can buy some good taste and appreciate the art that is Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!” one person snidely remarked to the tearful Daniels.
Long time anime fan and unemployed 32-year-old Donald Reston, who was in attendance, told Anime Maru that he doesn’t know anything about professional football but assumed that it was “weird and gross.”
“Mike does that football stuff and I can only assume he’s a total loser, so I doubt he is a real anime fan since he just likes Dragonball,” said Reston. “The only way I would be less welcoming towards him is if he was a girl.”
Shortly afterward, Daniels was told to leave after calling Boku no Hero Academia “My Hero Academia”.