When we were kids, I think most of us had dreams of running into professional athletes and having them do something really special for us. However, and this is just a guess, I don’t think many of us dreamed we’d be wearing the jersey of a radical, anti-American activist and then have players reward us with free gaming systems.
Yet, that’s exactly what happened to a young boy in a Virginia mall.
A 10-year old boy named Jaden, was in a GameStop at a Sterling, Virginia, mall. He wanted an Xbox really badly. Two men in the Game Stop overheard Jaden talking about the gaming system, and how much it cost. The two men in the store, listening to Jaden, were Redkins running backs Keith Marshall and Rob Kelley.
After listening for a while, Marshall turned to Kelley and said, “You want to help him out and get it for him?” The two decided to each pay half the cost, though, only after the boy got permission from his grandmother.
Marshall described the act of kindness this way,“I’ve been in that place where I wanted something and couldn’t have it. So it felt good just to be in a position to spare two, three hundred dollars to help a kid out.”
Up until now, this story reads like a benevolent act of kindness, from two NFL football players, simply trying to help a kid out. While there certainly is some of that in here, its important to point out that Jaden was not dressed like any normal kid. Jaden had a Colin Kaepernick jersey on:
Two Redskins players bought a kid an Xbox at GameStop, and it was good https://t.co/TqJe8M8yh6
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) September 29, 2017
According to the Denver Post, “Jaden said Marshall and Kelley had complimented him on his Colin Kaepernick 49ers jersey when he walked into the video game store to inquire about the price of the Xbox One.” Also according to the Post, “Jaden told Marshall he was a Cowboys fan, just like his dad, and a 49ers fan because of Kaepernick, who was released in March and remains out of a job.”
Later, in a phone interview, Jaden went into depth on his feelings about Kaepernick and why he wears his jersey:
I liked how he wasn’t afraid to show what he thought. 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.
To be clear, Jaden is a 10-year old boy, and like most 10-year old boys, they rarely know the full story about anything, and they tend mimic the words and deeds of those around them. Even in listening to the quotes from the phone interview, its not clear that he understands exactly who Kaepernick is and what he stands for. So, criticizing Jaden is wrong and a waste of time.
However, Rob Kelley and Keith Marshall absolutely know the full story of the hateful, and horrible things that Colin Kaepernick stands for. While its always commendable and good when athletes step-in to help kids who are less fortunate. For them to single Jaden out because he wore the jersey of a disgraceful, cop-hating activist, is just wrong.