Andrew Whitworth: Grateful To Serve My Community And Meet A Need

David Kohl-US PRESSWIRE

When a high school football player near Whitworth's home town passed away, the Bengals left tackle did what he could to help a family in need.

When Jaleel Gipson, a high school football player in Farmerville, La., passed away from injuries sustained in a spring football practice, Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who's from West Monroe, La., spring into action to help Jaleel's family even though they've never met.

Whitworth paid for the 17-year-old boy's funeral costs. He meant for the gesture to be completely anonymous, but a member of the family, so moved by his actions, sent out a thank you to Whitworth and the surrounding area, including the Saints' head coach Sean Payton.

"I have never met this person but this tragedy has been far reaching in people hearts and this person in particular has went above and beyond in my family's mind," wrote the family member on the Facebook page entitled Larry ND Keshia Lee.

Once word got out of Whitworth's actions, the Bengals offensive tackle released the following statement:

"My wife and I didn't intend for this to become public but now that it has, I am just grateful the opportunity to serve my community and meet a need. I have two boys, and when I heard about Jaleel, all I could think was that was someone's baby who was taken away tragically. If there is a way my family and I could help ease their burden even a little, that's what I was going to do. Honestly, I wish I could do more. I wish I were home now and I could spend some time with those coaches, players, and Jaleel's family, but I can't. I hope to do that when I return from spring training in Cincinnati."

These are the things fans need to hear about their favorite players and teams. While every team has a player, or a handful of players, that happen to be on the wrong side of the law at times, there are always those who are doing amazing things, sometimes for people they don't even know. Many times, these acts of kindness go unnoticed because players act anonymously. Of course, this day in age it's hard to do anything anonymously, especially if you're already somewhat famous.

This was great to see and while it's hard for Whitworth to give himself a better reputation among Bengals fans because they think so highly of him already, this may do the trick.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cincy Jungle

You must be a member of Cincy Jungle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cincy Jungle. You should read them.

Join Cincy Jungle

You must be a member of Cincy Jungle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cincy Jungle. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker