A young Dallas Cowboys fan wearing a San Francisco 49ers jersey walked into a GameStop in Virginia and left with an Xbox One purchased by two Washington Redskins players.
The reason? Ten-year-old Jaden Watts was wearing Colin Kaepernick’s number.
The heartwarming moment, which took place in Dulles earlier this week, captured the current spirit of the NFL. In recent months, many players across the league have followed Kaepernick’s lead and peacefully protested against police brutality, racial injustice and in defiance of President Donald Trump.
In comments posted to Facebook, Saundra Watts said her grandson Jaden walked into a GameStop while she was next door at a makeup store. He then ran back to her saying that some guys wanted to buy him an Xbox One.
“So I go next door and as I am walking over there I am thinking what pervert wants to buy my grandson an Xbox,” Saundra wrote on Facebook. “I am thinking he is going to be in for a rude awakening when I bust through these doors. (I am an advocate for abused and neglected kids).”
But the two men were Washington Redskins players Keith Marshall and Rob Kelley. Jaden said they complimented his jersey, noticed he was asking about an Xbox for his birthday and offered to buy it for him.
“Me nor my granson [sic] had a clue who they were,” Saundra wrote. “They now have 2 fans for life.”
Jaden told the Washington Post he was a Cowboys fan but liked the 49ers and Kaepernick because of his decision to kneel during the national anthem last season. The former 49ners player remains unsigned this year.
“I liked how he wasn’t afraid to show what he thought,” Jaden said. “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.”
A man who observed the encounter posted about it on Facebook and the story soon went viral. The Washington Redskins also tweeted about the moment as did GameStop.
Since describing players who kneel during the national anthem as “sons of bitches” last weekend, Trump has continued to double down on his criticisms. He’s even called for team owners to fire protesting players.
Trump’s reaction has prompted players in many sports to speak in support of the peaceful protests and against racial injustice and police brutality.