Football players are usually known for their on-field offense or defense statistics, such as how many rushing yards, receiving yards, sacks, or interceptions they have each game. But, occasionally, a player’s off-field activity gains the attention of the media — especially when they do something helpful or even heroic.
One such off-field incident occurred on May 30 at the Los Angeles International Airport when traveler Delilah Cassidy (22) met an “angel.”
Cassidy (age 22) was traveling from London back to her hometown, Arizona, but had a stopover at LAX. Unfortunately, she hadn’t heard about American Airlines’ new rule that requires passengers to pay for carry-on luggage. An agent from the airline said she needed to pay an extra $50 to take her bag onto the plane.
Stuck at the Airport
After being told she needed to pay up to get on her flight, Cassidy realized she didn’t have any working credit cards. So, she asked if she could pay cash at the gate.
Unfortunately, the airline agent said no and that Cassidy would have to pay the money back at the main ticket counter, which would mean she would miss her flight.
“I said, ‘Please, is there any way you could let me through?’ They said, ‘No … You’re gonna have to miss this flight. We can’t let you on,’” Cassidy told People. “I was devastated, I started tearing up. I leaned over on the counter, really upset.”
‘Angel’ Appears Out of Nowhere
It was at this point that Cassidy got a pleasant surprise. “Then this man walks up and says, ‘How much is it?’ They tell him $50, and he says, ‘I got it,’” she recounted on her Twitter feed.
Cassidy proceeded to tell the mysterious man not to worry about it, but he handed the American Airlines employee his credit card. “They swipe the card, and he tells me to have a great flight and hop on board,” she said.
As shocked onlookers watched the scene unfold, Cassidy started crying out of gratitude. “The lady said, ‘Wow, that was amazing.’ I said, ‘That man was an angel. That was unbelievable,’” Cassidy told People.
Pro Football Player Says ‘Pay it Forward’
As Cassie tearfully boarded her flight, she saw the man sitting in first class and offered to pay him back. But, he declined and suggested she “pay it forward.”
So who was the mystery man? Cassidy later found out he was Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham.
“I just feel like it’s just how I was raised,” he told ESPN. “Core values. You see somebody in distress, just help them out. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Gresham played college football at Oklahoma, receiving All-American honors. After being drafted by the Bengals in 2010 during the first round, he stayed with the team until he signed with the Cardinals in 2015.
A Happy Heart
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After finding out from a flight attendant the identity of her “angel,” Cassidy approached Gresham upon landing to thank him for his act of kindness.
“My heart is so happy. There are good people in this world,” Cassidy wrote on her Twitter. “Be that person for someone because I know after this I sure will be.”