RG III: 'Honor' to get fans' autographs

ByJohn Keim ESPN logo
Sunday, August 10, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. -- Robert Griffin III took off his cleats and could tell by the look on the two fans' faces they were expecting something that wasn't going to happen. He didn't want to give the two cancer survivors his cleats. He wanted their autographs on them.

It was a request the Washington Redskins quarterback repeated Saturday with 18-year old Jamia Johnson as part of the Make-A-Wish program. So she signed the left shoulder on his yellow practice jersey. It happened after he threw passes to her and then 'lost' to her in a race. She received a kidney transplant last year after being diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease in May of 2010.

"I wanted to give her something special and have something to carry along with me on this journey," Griffin said.

He received autographs from two cancer survivors on his white cleats Saturday: Evan Washo and Vincent Silver Jr.

Griffin said he could see a look of shock on their faces when he makes his request.

"They don't expect me to ask them for their autographs," he said. "It was more like, 'OK, cool.' Down the line hopefully they remember that and say I was their first autograph."

He also said he heard someone say, "He's going to give them his cleats!" So Griffin promised to send them cleats in their favorite colors.

Griffin said there was no impetus for the idea of asking for the autographs, it just came to him.

"When I was growing up I always wanted to meet guys I looked up to, role models," he said. "If I'd have met Michael Jordan and he asked for my autograph there would have been a shock. It's flipping the script a little bit, but I think it means something to them. If I'm their first autograph that's an honor to me."

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