When Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman found himself on a flight with a young Marine Sunday night, he did something that may come as surprising for a Super Bowl-winning champion – he gave up his seat.
SportspressNW.com reports that Coleman, a 23-year-old fullback and the first deaf player in the NFL, met the man in uniform outside the restroom.
“As a kid, I always wanted to be an Air Force pilot, but that wasn’t going to happen, and I turned to athletics,” Coleman told the outlet. “I think about people in the armed forces, especially around Memorial Day, and how much they’re sacrificing so we can maintain our good lives.”
Without further thought, the football star offered up his first-class seat, and told the Marine he would take coach for the flight. The Marine initially turned down the proposition, but later accepted.
“I told him what he was doing was hard work, and what I was doing was fun, and I was getting paid well for it,” Coleman said. “I asked him if he would allow me to give him this small appreciation for what he’s doing for me and all of us.”
He added, “After we landed, he waited for me at the gate to thank me… one of the flight attendants handed me a note and said with all the good food and drinks, he never stopped smiling the whole flight.”
Now, that's the mark of a true champion.