The Baltimore Ravens are currently offering trades for Ray Rice’s jersey for his trending domestic violence video, but despite the negative opinions towards the NFL because of this, there are still good players in the league. Devon Still, a defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, is selling his jersey for a reason more touching than just the monetary profit. All proceeds from any purchase of Still’s jersey will go towards the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and pediatric cancer research.
Devon Still is focusing on tackling a battle other than the player across the line of scrimmage. His four-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis has noticed a change in his third-year player as far as performance on the football field, which was partially why he was cut from the roster in the preseason, when the Bengals had to go from a 75-man roster to 53. Still also had injured his hamstring early in the preseason. However, the Bengals decided to not cut Still completely. They decided to sign him to their practice squad, so he could still have the salary and health insurance he and his family needed to support his daughter, Leah. Leah is currently admitted in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, but Still will be allowed to visit her when needed.
He was officially signed back onto their active roster last week when Coach Lewis had a private meeting with the lineman to discuss if he was ready to bring his all back onto the field. Knowing that Still was affected by a hamstring injury and putting all of his priorities towards his daughter, the Bengals knew that sometimes a player’s personal life has to come first. In this case, Still appreciated the fact that the franchise supported him 100 percent and stayed by his side, even though he was not officially on the active roster. Coach Lewis and the rest of the coaching staff stated that if Still worked on being both physically and mentally ready, then he would be signed back to play in the regular season. Promises were made this past Wednesday. Still devoted himself back to the game of football for the team that decided not to turn their backs on him just because his performance was affected by the one thing that is worth more to him than the game, his daughter Leah.
The Bengals have agreed to sell Devon Still’s no. 75 jersey via the NFL pro-shop for $100. All proceeds of his jersey will go towards pediatric cancer research, which to the Bengals is undoubtedly worth more than having profit for their team. The New Orleans Saints coach, Sean Payton, was touched by this story and has purchased 100 Still jerseys to support Leah and all the other children fighting pediatric cancer. Within just the first 24 hours of this jersey-sale donation, the Bengals organization has sold more Devon Still jerseys than any other Bengal in their franchise history. In addition to this, the Bengals have agreed to make a donation to pediatric cancer research based off of how many sacks the defense will make this season. In a season that has already shown to have numerous troubles and negativity in just the early weeks, Devon Still and the Bengals have shown that the NFL is still filled with reasons why America will always support football.
Commentary by Tricia Manalansan