The indefinite suspension of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has cast a dark shadow over the NFL, but the Cincinnati Bengals did something remarkable for a player facing a family hardship that more people need to hear about. On the anniversary of the founding of 9/12 Project, Glenn was happy to share “a really good story” on radio this morning.
In June, 25-year-old Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still received news no parent ever wants to here: His four-year-old daughter Leah has stage four pediatric cancer. The timing was particularly bad for Still, who was trying to make the Bengals 53 man roster while caring for his daughter.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Still was a 2012 second-round pick and former Penn State captain. He injured his elbow and suffered a herniated disc last season. He injured his hamstring during the team’s third preseason game this summer. Over the last two seasons, Still recorded 28 tackles and half a sack.
When the Bengals cut Still earlier this month, he was not surprised.
“I completely understand where the Bengals were coming from when they cut me,” Still told ABC News in an interview, “because I couldn’t give football 100 percent right now.”
What happened next, however, was completely unexpected.
After cutting Still, the Bengals decided to sign him to its practice squad, which pays about $6,300 a week and comes with full health coverage.
But that wasn’t all.
The Bengals began selling Still’s jersey with the promise 100% of the proceeds would go to pediatric cancer research. Within 24 hours, a Bengals official told ESPN.com “more of the defensive tackle's black No. 75 jerseys had been sold in that time span than any jersey featuring any other Bengals player [in history].”
Additionally, a roster spot opened up on Tuesday and the Bengals signed Still off the practice squad onto the active roster.
“I mean, that's really cool,” Glenn said.
“With all this Ray Rice stuff going on, all we've talked about is negative stuff for how long with the NFL this,” Stu concluded. “Good stuff does happen and there's a lot of good people doing great things. And that stuff doesn't get covered nearly as close, obviously. It's nice to see.”
You can purchase a Still jersey HERE.
Front page image courtesy of the AP