Football may be all tough hits and tackles, but that hasn't hardened the heart of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder.
At least, that's judging by his encounter with the Robbins family, who bumped into the NFL player earlier this month while they were out shopping, trying to distract themselves shortly after the family's mom, Maggie, was killed in a car accident.
After learning of their grief, reports WCCO, Ponder treated the family's two girls to a shopping spree.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 16, 2014
"When we walked into the store, the manager came out and he mentioned that they wanted to buy my daughters some clothes that day," father Justin Robbins recounted to WCCO, who learned Ponder was behind the kind act only after he pressed the manager for details. Justin says he limited his daughters to one outfit apiece, despite their desire to buy the whole store.
"We really, really want to thank the Ponders and what a great man. Samantha is a great person and Christian is a great man," Justin added to the station. "It was a great day, it really helped us out. We really appreciate the Ponders for doing that for us."
In a followup with The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Ponder said the focus should be on the grieving family -- not him.
Regardless, the kind act has clearly resonated with many, including ESPN reporter Ben Goessling, who writes, "After a stretch of ugly off-the-field headlines ... the story is a little reminder there are plenty of thoughtful, genuine people in the league."