- BENGALS OL ANDREW WHITWORTH TO PAY FOR FUNERAL OF 17-YEAR-OLD WHO DIED OF FOOTBALL INJURIES - Jaleel Gipson, was a 17-year-old football player in Farmerville, Louisiana, who passed away Monday after suffering a fractured spinal cord on a tackling drill on May 9 during spring football practice at Farmerville High School. He was rushed to the hospital, but early Sunday morning doctors declared that Gipson was no longer able to breathe on his own. So his family made an unselfish decision to put Gipson on the organ donor list.
On Monday Gipson’s organs were donated and he was taken off life support.
It’s been a difficult week for Jaleel Gipson’s family, who say they have been overwhelmed with support and love from their community.
On Friday morning, Jaleel’s family shared a post on Facebook thanking those who have reached out to them with their condolences and monetary funds to cover his burial. Many of those who have given asked to stay unnamed, but the family said in the post, those who have given deserve to be thanked publicly.
Among those are former LSU and current Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth who contacted the family earlier this week and extended one of the kindest gestures possible. He’s going to donate the full cost of Jaleel’s funeral.
This is something that Whitworth hoped to keep quiet, but word got out due to people’s overwhelming reaction to his generous act.
“My wife and I didn’t intend for this to become public but now that it has I am just grateful for the opportunity to serve my community and meet a need,” Whitworth told The News-Star. “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.”
Whitworth said he wishes he were back home in Louisiana so he could spend some time with the coaches, players and Jaleel’s family. But unfortunately he can’t right now because the Bengals are holding OTA’s this week. But he plans on showing up soon to do what he can to help a family and community deal with a tragic loss. (Photo: Bengals.com)
Such a nice thing to do! Classy guy.