What’s this strange phenomenon? Could it be ... good news? Be still my cold, battered heart.
But, seriously, these two Washington, D.C., football team players did some good earlier this week when they decided to pull together to purchase a brand-new Xbox One for a child who strolled into a GameStop in Sterling, Va., flaunting a Colin Kaepernick jersey.
According to the Washington Post, D.C. running backs Keith Marshall and Rob Kelley spotted 10-year-old Jaden Watts on Tuesday in his San Francisco 49ers Kaepernick jersey when he walked into the GameStop inquiring about the price of the Xbox One.
Marshall, who overheard the boy’s query, immediately asked his teammate if he was interested in pitching in to buy the console for him.
“I was cool with it,” Kelley, who was in the store in search of a “Midnight Club II” game, told the Post. “I wish someone would’ve done something like that for me when I was growing up. His family is probably able to do whatever they want, but everybody is not able to have the stuff that we have the luxury of having. … To make an impact on somebody, I have no problem with it.”
Jaden excitedly ran to tell his grandmother Saundra Watts—who was getting her makeup done in the Dulles 28 Center—about his good fortune.
“He’s jumping up and down, saying, ‘Nana! Nana! Nana! These two guys want to buy me an Xbox. You’ve got to come right now,’ ” Watts recalled.
Watts admitted to being skeptical and apprehensive about the generous offer, even wondering if it was some creep who was trying to target her grandson.
“She did not believe me,” Jaden said. “She thought it was some person who was joking with me or something.”
“The first thing I’m thinking is there’s some pedophile trying to buy my grandson an Xbox,” the loving grandmother, who is actually an advocate for abused and neglected children, admitted. “So I’m like, ‘I’m going to bust up in there and bust his bubble.’”
But it was no joke, and certainly no funny business. Marshall and Kelley were serious.
“Is it OK if we buy your son an Xbox?” Marshall asked Watts.
“I was like, ‘Really?’ Now, mind you, I didn’t know they were [D.C.-football-team members], and neither did Jaden,” Watts recalled.
Jaden said that the two players had complimented him on his Kaepernick jersey when he first came into the store. Although the precocious 10-year-old acknowledges that he’s a Dallas Cowboys fan (just like his dad), he’s also a 49ers fan because he loves Kaepernick and what he stands for—even though the quarterback was released in March and has yet to be signed to another NFL team.
“I liked how he wasn’t afraid to show what he thought,” Jaden told the Post of Kaepernick’s silent protest against police brutality and black oppression. “He risked getting fired, which was a big thing. I wouldn’t even do that, but he did, and I really like him for standing out. I don’t know if people agree with it, but he just doesn’t care what people say, and that’s inspired me and probably inspired other people.”
You better preach, Jaden.
Before the happy parties parted, they took a photo and exchanged hugs and phone numbers. Of course, Marshall and Kelley also hooked Jaden up with a copy of “NBA 2K18” for him to play on his new Xbox.
“Jaden flew on cloud nine to the car,” Watts said. “The next morning, he woke up and looked at me and said, ‘Nana, I had a dream that I was in a GameStop and two [D.C. football team] players bought me an Xbox.’ I said, ‘That wasn’t a dream, you dodo, that really happened.’ It was un-be-lievable. Unbelievable. He’s just such a good kid and it was just such a blessing. It was just so wonderful, the experience of a lifetime.”
“I will never forget that,” Jaden said.
And with that, I’ve been reduced to a puddle of tears and good, squishy feelings.
As for the NFL players, they remained ever humble in the face of the attention, saying it was really about the gift coming from the heart and not about the attention.
“The family wanted a picture that they could have, so they took one, but we didn’t post anything,” Kelly said. “Stuff like that is done from the heart. That was something that we just did and it ain’t gotta be broadcasted. … Doing that, it felt so good just knowing that I didn’t have no ties to that kid, I didn’t have to do that. It felt good.”
Read more at the Washington Post.