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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

NFL’s inclusion of Devon Still proves good can be found in tumultuous time

In a season thus far marred by bad off-field press for the NFL, the story of Devon Still has been a breath of fresh air. Still, a second round draft pick in 2012 by the Cincinnati Bengals, was cut from the team’s active roster at the end of the preseason; however, the Bengals re-signed him to the practice squad the following day in order to help pay for his daughter Leah’s cancer treatments.
Still has since moved from the practice squad to the active roster. The Bengals, for their part, have supported Still throughout the process and have even taken steps to help. The team has begun selling Still jerseys and is donating all proceeds from the sales to pediatric cancer research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
As of Sept. 28, the Bengals have said orders have reached close to 10,000 jerseys, resulting in nearly $1 million towards pediatric cancer research.
Support for Still and his daughter has come from all corners of the league. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton purchased 100 Still jerseys, totaling $10,000.
“You’ve inspired a ton of people with this story,” Payton told Still on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike”, “I think it’s going to be something that gives a lot of other people strength in an obviously difficult time. I’m a huge fan from afar.”
Still’s story comes at a time where the NFL is under a ton of fire from the media and fans. The league’s handling of the Ray Rice situation, combined with the domestic violence issues involving Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald, and Jonathan Dwyer have left a black mark on the league. There have been calls by fans and media members for a full-scale investigation and for high-ranking officials to lose their jobs, including Commissioner Roger Goodell.
In the midst of all of the bad, Still’s story provides fans with a positive to look toward in discussions of the NFL.
“I applaud this effort to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from a horrendous condition,” says junior political science major and NFL fan, Brian Edmonds, “I would say that no matter what kind of bad press the NFL has had of late, we can’t only focus on the bad.”
“This doesn’t mean we should forget about or stop discussing these negative issues. It means that the NFL, like most famed organizations, is not black or white in their practices, but a shade of grey that has moments of good and bad.”
Leah Still underwent surgery on Sept. 25 where, according to Still, the doctors were able to remove all of her tumors, lymph nodes, and her right adrenal gland, where the cancer started. While this successful surgery does not mean that Still is cancer free, it is a huge step forward in her treatment.