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NFL players make a young fan's day during chance meeting at GameStop

An ordinary afternoon running errands with his grandmother became extraordinary for one 10-year-old NFL fan.
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

When Saundra Watts took her 10-year-old grandson, Jaden, to run errands with her last week, she had no idea that an ordinary day would turn extraordinary with a chance encounter.

Watts let her grandson go into a GameStop store in Dulles, Virginia, while she finished up a few errands in a neighboring store on September 26. Jaden, who was wearing Colin Kaepernick's San Francisco 49ers jersey, was interested in looking at an Xbox One gaming consoles, the gift he hoped to receive for his upcoming birthday on October 16.

Jaden was asking a GameStop employee how much the Xbox One consoles cost when two other GameStop shoppers approached Jaden and started talking to him. An observer, Joey Snapp, documented the encounter on his Facebook page:

"The child explained again that he wanted an Xbox for the last few years for his birthday, but his parents couldn’t afford it," wrote Snapp. "These two gentlemen told the kid they wanted to buy him an Xbox for his birthday and to go out and get his [grandmother] and make sure it was OK."

Jaden ran out of the store and found Watts, who was quick to return to GameStop with him to find out why strangers were offering to buy him an expensive gaming console.

"The [grandmother] walks in and the one guy said, 'Ma’am, my name is Keith Marshall, and this is Rob Kelley, and we play for the Washington Redskins and we would love to buy your [grand]son an Xbox one for his birthday."

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"My mouth hit the floor," Watts told TODAY Parents. "Neither of us had a clue who they were." Watts said Jaden only knew they were two "nice buff guys" who wanted to buy him an Xbox.

Watts, who volunteers as an advocate for abused and neglected children through the organization Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in Prince William County, Virginia, spoke to Marshall while Kelley took a phone call.

"He was the most humble kid you could ever meet," she said. "Everything was, 'Yes, ma'am.'" Watts pointed out Marshall's manners to her young grandson. "Keith said, 'My mama wouldn't have it any other way,'" she said. Marshall also asked Watts about how Jaden is doing in school and asked the fifth grader what sport he plays himself (plot twist: basketball!).

After taking a few pictures, the players walked away, and Jaden and his grandmother left with a brand new Xbox One and a new game to play on it. Though Jaden's favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys, Watts said he is now also fond of two special Redskins.

When Washington Redskins running backs Rob Kelley and Keith Marshall approached 10-year-old Jaden Watts, he had no clue who they were.Photo credits to Saundra Watts

"Jaden was so excited," she said. "When we left the store I could swear my grandson flew on Cloud Nine to the car. He said, 'Nana, I can't believe this.'"

Neither Marshall nor Kelley sought attention for their good deed. It was not until Snapp posted about the moment on Facebook that it caught the public's attention. Kelley later told ESPN, "I've been in that place where I wanted something and couldn't have it, so it felt good just to be in a position to spare two, three hundred dollars to help a kid out like it's not going to affect me no type of way. Why not? I understand what he's going through."

Though her grandson was wearing a Kaepernick jersey, Watts says this was not a political story. "This was just two great guys who happen to be Redskins doing a wonderful thing for a well-deserving 10-year-old," she said.