Sportress of Blogitude

Raiders’ Menelik Watson donates game check to girl with heart condition (video)


FOX Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer reported on a touching story during Sunday’s pregame coverage about how one Oakland Raiders player was so touched by the story of a four-year-old girl bravely dealing with an illness that he put his money where his mouth is.

Raiders offensive lineman Menelik Watson, after meeting Ava Urrea, who is battling hypoplastic left heart syndrome that has led to the little girl undergoing 14 surgeries in her young life, donated his game check to her family to help cover medical expenses related to her condition.

Ava, who essentially was born with a half a heart, received toys, a signed helmet and other team gear. The meeting between the four-year-old and the Raiders was coordinated by Glazer through his Touchdown Dreams foundation.

But it was Watson’s noble gesture of generosity is what makes this story such a touching tale of kindness.

Ava and her family attended Oakland’s 26-24 win over the Buffalo Bills at Coliseum Sunday and had the chance to pay a visit to the locker room.

Watson will earn $622,948 total in base in 2014, per NFLPA records (via Pro Football Talk), meaning the second-year player makes approximately $37,000 per week, as NFL players are paid 17 times over the course of a calendar year, not in 52 weekly installments.

All told, after taxes and other deductions, the net amount Watson gave to Ava’s family was in the range of $18,000.

“Sir, I would like to make sure Ava has the greatest holiday,” Watson reportedly told Ava’s father, per Glazer’s report. “Here is my game check.”

(photo credit: Stephen Brashear/AP)