Sometimes there is crying in football.
NFL fans and players learned that in the most touching way possible Sunday night when cheerleaders for the New England Patriots briefly turned their sideline show into a show of support for a player on the opposing team – and his daughter’s battle with a potentially fatal brain cancer.
The moment came in the third quarter of a Patriots eventual victory at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., when the Patriots’ cheerleaders unzipped their jackets to show that underneath they were wearing Bengals jerseys emblazoned with Still’s number 75 and a video tribute to young Leah Still played on the stadium’s giant screen, according to Patriots.com.
There was plenty of crying in football just then – and there wasn’t any shame in it.
— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) October 6, 2014
That shot says a lot, but take a look at what was going on on the field.
Leah Still’s medical problems have been known throughout the league since her father went public with the story on Instagram after her June diagnosis of Stage 4 neuroblastoma.
He’s played two seasons with the Bengals after being drafted in 2012. The team cut him in August, but re-signed him to the practice squad, which allowed him to keep Leah on the organization’s health insurance.
But he was in full uniform for Sunday night’s tribute in “enemy territory.” Where the enemy was all friends.
Even in the all-business, cutthroat world of the National Football League, moments like these come along to remind everyone that it’s only a game.
And check out this video Still posted of a quick pep talk he gave Leah while heading out for cancer treatment.
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