Menelik Watson’s game check donation to an ill little girl brought smiles to many NFL fans this past weekend. Though Watson didn’t do the move to create headlines or get attention, people are buzzing about the story after Jay Glazer shared the details via Fox Sports.
Glazer shared that he has an organization called Touchdown Dreams that connects children battling rare or life-threatening illnesses with football players for a special day. Ava Urrea is a 4-year-old girl who has a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, notes NFL. Ava was brought to the Oakland Raiders game over the weekend, and she had quite the experience.
Urrea, who has already had more than 14 procedures related to her heart condition, spent the day with the Raiders as team captain for the day. She got a signed helmet and autographed footballs, and was able to attend the game after having a lot of fun with the team. The day was seemingly a fantastic one for the girl and her family, but one player’s move gave something extra special to the family.
At the end of the day, Menelik Watson donated his game check to the family. Watson reportedly approached Ava’s father and handed over his Week 16 game check. As Michael Strahan noted during the Fox telecast, NFL players are paid for 17 weeks of football, and their entire salary is broken down into 17 checks, as they are not paid year-round. For Watson to hand over one of his checks is no small gesture.
According to Pro Football Talk, Menelik Watson’s game check would likely be around $18,000 after taxes. Watson is said to have told Ava’s father that he just wanted the girl to have a really special Christmas.
In a season marred by headlines regarding the problems some NFL players have had off the field, such as those by Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, the Menelik Watson game check story is a great reminder for football fans that a lot of these guys do a lot of good things, usually quietly, just because they like to and they can.
Watson didn’t say a word himself about the donation he made to the family. His most recent tweet regarding the weekend game was that it was a great win, as the Oakland Raiders beat the Buffalo Bills. For a family like Ava’s, which is surely facing a lot of complicated financial challenges with her medical condition, Menelik Watson’s game check donation will most certainly help the family have a lovely holiday.
[Image via Foot Basket]