October 5: Patriots Cheerleaders Honor Devon Still’s Daughter
Amid all the awful fallout of domestic abuse during the NFL season, Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still’s relationship with his cancer stricken daughter Leah has been the best story of this year, and it’s not even close. Still was cut by the Bengals in August, but signed a day later to the team’s practice squad so he could pay Leah’s medical bills, and eventually reactivated by the team early in the season. Leah was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma in June, and suffered through several months of chemo before undergoing surgery in September, which was proceeded by a pep talk from her dad. It was a couple weeks later though that Still debuted his “Leah Strong” eye black on an October Sunday night in Foxboro that included a surprise tribute by the Patriots. First they played a video honoring 4-year-old Leah, and then Patriots cheerleaders changed into Still’s No. 75 jersey. Later, Patriots owner Robert Kraft would donate a $25,000 to the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center in Leah’s name. You know, football is hyper-masculine game taken far too seriously by far too many, and that’s why it was so nice to see a team put aside artificial allegiances and honor a little girl going through something awful.
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