Miami Dolphins rookie Cedric Thompson helps homeless man
By Brian Miller
By now the story of Miami Dolphins rookie Cedric Thompson helping a homeless man is somewhat old news. It first appeared on the internet two maybe three days ago. I had this tagged for a feel good Sunday morning article so screw it. Old news or not, it’s still a great story.
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Thompson, one of the Dolphins 5th round draft picks this past April, started his own blog and recently talked about his encounter with a former inmate and now homeless man. He describes the incident in detail as he recalled his attempt to simply grocery shop. The man met him outside and immediately Thompson saw a man looking for money.
The man told Thompson that he was asked to leave the grocery store because they thought he was stealing but all he really wanted was food. Thompson took him inside and bought the man his dinner. Enough to feed both him and his two daughters. He then accepted the request of the man for a ride to a nearby McDonalds. Why that location was never divulged.
Thompson is one of many NFL and sports players who find themselves in a position like any one of us on any given day. Across the country we are met by people asking for money or a little bit of help. Sometimes it’s not what it seems. When told that they are hungry and food is offered sometimes they scoff at the idea wanting only the money yet at other times they truly need only something to eat. It’s often hard to tell the difference.
There are so many stories from both sides of that fence. I remember living in Nashville, Tn one year and a man who hounded people from a wheelchair for money would wheel himself blocks away at the end of the night, get into a car and drive himself to a nice home. I also remember the man on the corner with a sign that simply read, “need 5 bucks for beer”. At least he was honest.
Recently I stopped at a fast food restaurant to find a young woman and two little children being asked to leave the premises because they weren’t buying anything. The woman was stranded as I overheard her say to the manager. She was disheveled and you could tell she had been crying. Many in the restaurant moved to different locations in the room, away from here while one older woman told the manager she would buy the kids food. She did, the young mother cried and thanked her profusely declining a meal for herself.
She told the woman that she was on her way home to her parents house after a bad break-up and the car she was driving broke down. Her ex wouldn’t answer his phone and she couldn’t get a hold of her own family. She wasn’t asking for money to fix her car but I could tell she needed help. I gave her the only cash in my wallet. $20.00. Seemed so trivial at the time. That gesture prompted the manager to call someone who was a mechanic and she got her car fixed for almost nothing. It’s the chain reaction of good-deeds that often make you smile.
Thompson’s story reminded me of that incident and so many others. In a day and age where cash is often not on our persons thanks to debit cards, more and more people asking for money are often turned away. Some will still accept even the smallest amounts of change while others will scoff at the offer.
Thompson is not a star and it’s likely that whether he was a football player or bagger at the grocery store, he would likely have helped this man. It’s a good story, it makes you smile. As Thompson points out it doesn’t matter what the man did to be incarcerated, he did his time and we are no longer in a place to judge. Good for you Cedric.