New York Giants edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux had a rather heart-warming gesture to teammate Graham Gano in order to get his jersey number.
When the New York Giants picked up the 21-year-old out of the University of Oregon, they selected someone who should make an instant impact in the NFL, at least if his college numbers have got anything to do with it.
With 19 sacks and 126 total tackles, 35.5 of which were for loss and standing at an imposing 6’4 whilst weighing 256lbs, he should be giving opposing offensive linemen problems for years to come in the NFL.
And whilst he might come across as a big, imposing figure who clearly mean streak in him to get to the opposing quarterbacks, it turns out that underneath there is a heart of gold.
What has he done?
One of the most important things that a professional athlete can possess is their jersey number. Afterall, Tom Brady’s TB12 rolls off the tongue a lot better than if it was TB17, then you have the iconic numbers like Michael Jordan’s #23 and Lionel Messi’s #10.
So Thibodeaux, who wore #5 in college, appeared to have his heart set on wearing the same number in the NFL, but that number was taken by Giants kicker Graham Gano.
And in a gesture of good faith, Thibodeaux made sure it was worth Gano’s while to give the number up, making a pretty sizeable donation to a charity close to Gano’s heart:
To get the No. 5 from veteran kicker Graham Gano, Giants’ first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux donated $50,000 to Puppies Behind Bars, which provides service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders, in addition to explosive-detection canines for law enforcement. pic.twitter.com/mbmK7lPrLJ— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 10, 2022
Right place, right time.
A few years ago, something like this wouldn’t have been possible, but with the NFL relaxing the regulations when it came to jersey numbers ahead of the 2021 season, allowing defensive players to wear a wider variety of numbers to more align with college rules, now he can.
And at least this way he isn’t the only person that benefitted from the whole thing.