In today’s sports world, what an athlete does off of the field is judged just as harshly as their on-field performance. As a result, we tend to spend most of our time condemning the bad actions instead of celebrating the good. Well, here’s an opportunity to do the latter.
1.) Andre Johnson is a star wide receiver for the Houston Texans, but his ability to make fans happy goes beyond the playing field. For seven Christmases in a row now, Johnson has gone on an incredible spending spree to provide gifts for less-fortunate kids.
2.) Derrick Coleman inspired us all when he became the first legally deaf person to play in the NFL, but for those like Riley and Erin, who are also deaf, his success is even more meaningful. After the twins wrote him a letter telling him that he’s their inspiration, Coleman responded by visiting their home and giving them tickets to the Super Bowl he and his Seattle Seahawks would go on to win.
3.) Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider shared the ice and some expert advice with transgender teen Cory Osam. Schneider was the inspiration behind Osam’s decision to go by the name Cory after his transition.
4.) Captain of the New York Mets had a catch with a young fan during warmups.
5.) Chicago Bears defensive tackle Nate Collins took his young fan Nadia, who lost her father to cancer, to her “Daddy Daughter” dance. Collins said they danced so much that his feet hurt the next morning–and that’s coming from a guy whose feet are used to pounding the gridiron!
6.) NHL player Charlie Coyle knows that sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that have the biggest impact.
7.) Star quarterback Robert Griffin III helped a high school student ask one of his biggest fans to prom.
8.) In 2011, Adam Scott met with Stephanie Wetzel, a fan who suffered from lupus, while he was playing in the BMW Championship. After her passing in 2013, Scott took time away from participating that year’s tournament to meet with her grieving parents.
9.) Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp doesn’t let the big lights of Los Angeles distract him from helping those in need. After a game against his bitter rival, the San Francisco Giants, Kemp made his way over to the stands to give a sick fan his autograph and game-worn hat, jersey, and cleats.
10.) Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael attended prom with Taylor Kirkwood. Taylor, who suffers from autism, couldn’t have been happier to be bringing a Super Bowl champion as a date.
11.) Jeff Gordon makes his living in the fast lane, but that doesn’t mean he’s too busy to spend time with a fan–especially when he’s the favorite driver of their late husband.
12.) Detroit Red Wings player Jordin Tootoo made a fan’s life just by giving him his stick.
13.) At 7’1”, Shaq is one of the few people in the world who can even come close to understanding what the 7’4” Brenden Adams goes through every day. When Brenden was 12, he got to take a ride in the “Shaqmobile” and spend the day with his favorite NBA player. Shaq treated Brenden to dinner at a nice restaurant, where they ate dessert first, and even bought him new clothes that would fit his big frame.
14.) 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt “proposed” to a fan who became Internet famous thanks to a video of her tearfully wishing she was 25-years-old so she could marry the Houston Texan.
15.) Former Georgetown standout and current Washington Wizards small forward Otto Porter bought lunch for a homeless D.C. man and talked Hoyas basketball with him while he ate his sandwich.
16.) MLB outfielder Jeff Francoeur made a couple of fans’ day by signing his hat and posing for a picture.
Their mother wrote a letter to explain to Francoeur just how much it meant to her son in particular.
(H/T BuzzFeed) Well, it won’t be hard to root for these guys next time I see them on ESPN. Share this uplifting post using the button below.