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Menelik Watson donates game check to four-year-old fan


From our buddy Jay Glazer of FOX Sports comes a great story for the holidays.

Glazer arranged through his Touchdown Dreams program for Ava Urrea, a four-year-old fan with hypoplastic left heart syndrome to visit the Raiders this week.  The team pulled out all the stops for Ava, who was born with half a heart and has had 14 surgeries.  (It’s the same condition that TJ Olsen, the son of Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, has been dealing with since birth.)

Ava received a signed helmet, signed footballs, and making her the captain for the day.  Then came the unexpected twist.  Raiders offensive lineman Menelik Watson donated his game check for the week to Ava’s family.

According to NFLPA records, Watson’s base salary for 2014 is $622,948.  That makes his weekly gross salary $36,944.

With federal and California taxes consuming roughly half of that amount, the net check would have been in the range of $18,000.

It’s a great gesture by Watson, coming at the end of a season that has been focused all too often on all the bad things a small handful of NFL players do.

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32 Responses to “Menelik Watson donates game check to four-year-old fan”
  1. cmsfl says: Dec 21, 2014 12:41 PM

    Way to go Menelik!
    Now this is someone to look up to in the NFL.

  2. maestro1899 says: Dec 21, 2014 12:42 PM

    Good job, Menelik! I can’t say that I would have done the same if I was in your position. You are setting a great example for the rest of us.

  3. thehouseofho says: Dec 21, 2014 12:43 PM

    That’s a classy move. DAAAAAAAAAAAMN…that’s a lot of money going to taxes!

  4. jaydeebee21 says: Dec 21, 2014 12:45 PM

    Great gesture, Making every one of us British Fans proud, thanks for representing Britain in such a great way.

  5. helicopterpilot13 says: Dec 21, 2014 12:48 PM


  6. gerard33 says: Dec 21, 2014 12:48 PM


  7. head1994 says: Dec 21, 2014 12:49 PM

    Yes yes yes great Jon and btw guys you see football don’t make as much money as it seems

  8. rayricespimphand says: Dec 21, 2014 12:53 PM

    Total class act by a great young man. There are a ton of stories out there similar to this, we just rarely get to hear about them in today’s media.

  9. titansbro says: Dec 21, 2014 12:56 PM

    Yeah and he can claim that against his taxable income. It’s a win-win.

  10. calhounlambeau says: Dec 21, 2014 12:58 PM

    I did the math, around $33,300 with taxes taken out ,etc.

  11. qdog112 says: Dec 21, 2014 1:01 PM

    Great news for everyone but conservatives who frown upon philanthropy.

  12. heinz0057 says: Dec 21, 2014 1:01 PM

    Great story, very classy move.

  13. joetoronto says: Dec 21, 2014 1:02 PM

    Hats off to the big man, good stuff. 🙂

  14. youngosays says: Dec 21, 2014 1:04 PM

    raider hate on that’s a grown man move

  15. dawsonleery says: Dec 21, 2014 1:04 PM

    That’s an outstanding young man. We need more of this.

  16. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 21, 2014 1:04 PM

    Wow, what a wonderful and generous gift!

  17. ningenito78 says: Dec 21, 2014 1:08 PM

    Very classy. Well done Manelik.

  18. j0esixpack says: Dec 21, 2014 1:18 PM

    Wow – on a percentage basis that’s a huge donation

    Can we give this guy a raise for one game too?

    Challenge to Jim Irsay – match the same percentage of your own 2 billion in assets and donate it to charity for Christmas (and refrain from issuing a press release congratulating yourself)

  19. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Dec 21, 2014 1:26 PM

    Mr. Watson you are the man ! Thats a huge gesture of kindness and humanity !

  20. billsfan1 says: Dec 21, 2014 1:31 PM

    Wow for once I agree with Joe Toronto and don’t want to throat punch him

  21. johnnyd1975 says: Dec 21, 2014 1:34 PM

    One of the classiest Raiders and he’s a rookie. Your truly something special Manelik 👍RN4L we love you man.

  22. saxguru says: Dec 21, 2014 1:42 PM

    Hell to the yeah. Exceptional move. Thanks from NFL fans everywhere for restoring some faith in some players. I wish I had the resources to match your gift.

  23. abninf says: Dec 21, 2014 1:50 PM

    qdog112 says:

    Great news for everyone but conservatives who frown upon philanthropy.

    According to the New Your Times, conservatives give more to charity than liberals. Since your post was allowed to remain, we shall see about this one.

  24. torturedraiderfan says: Dec 21, 2014 1:55 PM

    Outstanding Mr Watson. We need more of you in the NFL. You made the whole Raider Nation proud.

  25. commonsensedude says: Dec 21, 2014 1:59 PM

    Great job and great story!! Thanks for posting this!

  26. t8ertot says: Dec 21, 2014 2:09 PM

    Makes me tear up

  27. laserw says: Dec 21, 2014 3:04 PM

    It should illegal for any person to have half of his paycheck seized for taxes. A cap of 25% should be in place and let the states and feds fight over who gets what portion of that.


    So nice to see an NFL player act like an adult.

    I wonder if that clown QB in Washington has done something like this.

  28. jdcush31 says: Dec 21, 2014 3:27 PM

    Conservatives don’t frown on philanthropy, only government forced philanthropy. Way to go Menalik!

    BTW having that much of of your pay taken for taxes is ridiculous.

  29. flidiot says: Dec 21, 2014 4:10 PM

    Representing them Noles!

  30. bubbasmithguy says: Dec 21, 2014 5:14 PM

    God Bless him.

  31. twodogs1porkchop says: Dec 21, 2014 5:17 PM

    I heard about this on the pre-game show between the Lions and the Bears. Then I watched an offensive Lion (pun is ok here) stomp on the back of a leg of a downed opposing player. I will now forget his name, and I will remember yours, Menelik Watson – thank you for being a stand-up guy.

  32. jharvey6 says: Dec 23, 2014 12:35 AM

    Over 50% in taxes to the state and federal government…WHY??? Why do we allow this? It would have been far better to give that money to this little girl than the corrupt government..God Bless Menelik….

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