Amid all the bad news coming from the NFL these days, one feel-good story has been lost in translation. It’s the story of Devon Still and the Cincinnati Bengals.
With the team since being drafted in 2012, Still had an unimpressive two-year run with the Bengals. Slowed by injuries that hurt his athleticism, the Bengals cut Still in mid-August. But injuries weren’t the only thing weighing him down. His four-year-old daughter, Leah, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, which meant she had a 50-50 chance at survival.
While this may seem like the start of a tragedy, the response from the Bengals changed it into an uplifting story. The Bengals quickly signed Still to the practice squad, so Still would continue to receive paychecks to pay for Leah’s cancer treatment. The owners promised to donate all of the proceeds from the sales of Still’s jerseys to pediatric cancer research and treatment at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Within 24 hours, Still’s jersey was the fastest selling jersey in a one-day span in Bengals’ history.
Others around the NFL are also showing their support. New Orleans Saints coach, Sean Payton, ordered 100 of Still’s jerseys, which translates into a $10,000 donation. And recently, Still was upgraded back to the 53-man roster.
With Leah’s improvement, Still finally found the drive to play again. And because of the good deeds by some in the NFL, this tragedy became an uplifting story.
Written by Tristan Rhee’17