This NFL Player Gave the Best Pep Talk Ever — But It Wasn't on the Field

The news: After weeks of depressing news regarding the NFL and the behavior of its players, we're long overdue for a heartwarming football story, and this one delivers.

On Thursday, Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still uploaded an inspiring pep talk to Instagram,o only it had nothing to do with football. Instead, Still was cheering up his 4-year-old daughter, Leah, on the way to have her pediatric cancer removed.

Later, Still posted an update that Leah's surgery was successful:

Source: Instagram

The NFL community has rallied around Still and his family. It's been a tough road for Still, who was cut from the Bengals' 53-man roster in August. But the Bengals decided to keep him on the practice squad so he could continue to get paid and receive insurance coverage for his daughter. And when a spot on the squad opened up a week later, the team decided to re-sign Still.

"It already was stated that a big reason Devon opened on the practice squad was that he couldn't fully focus on football this preseason. He had to take care of his daughter," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. "But Devon has told us he feels ready to contribute now, so it's the right move at the right time. And we've told Devon he can still be afforded the personal time he needs to attend to his daughter's care."

True to its word, the team allowed Still to leave early this week to throw presurgery party for Leah at a Delaware movie theater.

he Bengals also decided to donate all proceeds from sales of Still's game jersey to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and to pediatric cancer care and research, and the New Orleans Saints has have already made a big purchase in a show of solidarity: 

With all the unfolding scandals and controversies in the NFL, it's good to see the community come together to support one its own in a positive way and bring attention to a good cause.

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Eileen Shim

Eileen is a writer living in New York. She studied comparative literature and international studies at Yale University, and enjoys writing about the intersection of culture and politics.

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