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Blatant Homerism

Christian Ponder brightens day of family grieving mom’s death with shopping spree


When Justin Robbins took his daughters, 9-year-old Brianna and 8-year-old Emily on a trip to the mall to help get their minds off mourning the tragic death of their mother just a few weeks earlier, little did he know that a Minnesota Vikings player and his wife would go out of their way to help brighten the day of a family who desperately needed it.

Maggie Robbins was killed in an automobile accident earlier this month and Justin thought a trip to the mall to do some shopping at her favorite store may be at least a little something for his girls, who are still reeling from their mother’s tragic passing.

“They were really rough days,” Justin told WCCO-TV. “Her favorite store was Lululemon, and so we thought to take the girls to get a headband at Lululemon to cheer them up.”

The Robbins ran into Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and his wife, ESPN personality Samantha, during their shopping trip.

Brianna instantly recognized Ponder and the family spoke briefly with the much-maligned signal-caller. Justin, despite his grief, still managed to offer words of encouragement to Ponder over his football struggles.

The Robbins then took a photograph with Ponder and figured that was that.

“We posted this to Facebook and we said, ‘Look who mommy sent to say hi to us today.’ It really cheered up my daughters,” Justin said.

When talking to the Ponders, the girls told them why the reason why they were out on a shopping trip, a heartbreaking story that clearly touched quarterback and reporter, as the couple went into the store, told the manager to put anything the family purchased on their tab.

“When we walked into the store, the manager came out and he mentioned that they wanted to buy my daughters some clothes that day,” Justin said.

Justin said that while the girls loaded up on items, he only allowed them each one outfit. Still, the generosity and thoughtfulness of the act was not lost on the grieving family.

“I’d tell him thank you for what you did, and that I felt like my mom was doing this,” Brianna said.

“We really, really want to thank the Ponders and what a great man. Samantha is a great person and Christian is a great man,” added Justin. “It was a great day, it really helped us out. We really appreciate the Ponders for doing that for us.”

Even though Ponder the quarterback may be considered a persona non grata by Vikings fans, his random act of kindness demonstrates that Ponder the person — along with his wife — are class acts and should be considered welcome members to the Vikings family and cherished residents of Minnesota.