Oct 9, 2011; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) reacts during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Fernando Medina-USA TODAY Sports
As the NFL offseason enters the summer-stretch in which news is hard t come by, newspapers, sports blogs, and even the infamous ESPN is desperately seeking any and every potential newsworthy story there may be.
The latest NFL player to be arrested.
Power ranking every team down to their backup quarterback.
Where in the world is Tim Tebow?
Forget all of this. The story of the offseason came Friday about how Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth will pay the funeral expenses of Jaleel Gipson, a 16-year-old boy who died Monday after suffering a fractured vertebrae during an Oklahoma Drill at a spring football practice. Gipson’s organs were donated after he was taken off life support, when Whitworth found out, he offered to pay for Gipson’s funeral costs:
He wanted this to be an anonymous gesture, not seeking public praise for his actions, but only to help a family desperately in need of comfort and compassion. But a member of the family couldn’t help but send out a thank you to Whitworth and the surrounding community. Wor began spreading of Whit’s actions, and now it’s become a national story, one worthy of making the front page of any and every sports news site, blog, etc.
Once word got out of Whitworth’s actions, the Bengals offensive tackle released the following statement:
"My wife and I didn’t intend for this to become public but now that it has, I am just grateful the opportunity to serve my community and meet a need. I have two boys, and when I heard about Jaleel, all I could think was that was someone’s baby who was taken away tragically. If there is a way my family and I could help ease their burden even a little, that’s what I was going to do. Honestly, I wish I could do more. I wish I were home now and I could spend some time with those coaches, players, and Jaleel’s family, but I can’t. I hope to do that when I return from spring training in Cincinnati. I still read the papers from down there and know what is going on down there. Anytime you are engaged in the community and the area, something like that happens it is just devastating,” Whitworth said. “I am just grateful for the opportunity to serve my community and help ease that family’s burden."