Green Bay wide receiver Donald Driver has asked Packers fans to leave cleat snatcher Robyn Ereth alone after a video of her forcefully tearing a shoe away from 10-year-old Stephen Wagner, to whom Driver had thrown it following a charity softball game on Sunday, went viral on the Internet.
The clip became a sensation, angering fans who believe that the cleat snatching incident revealed Ereth to be a selfish poor sport unconcerned with the feelings of the young boy or the intentions of Donald Driver, who was tossing the shoe to the boy for him to keep as a momento of the game.
But the backlash apparently grew to be quite intense among Cheeseheads, as Driver took the time Monday evening to post a Facebook status imploring Green Bay fans to lay off Robyn Ereth and forgive her for taking the cleat from little Stephen
Packer Nation, let's remember that the woman who grabbed the shoe is human, Donald Driver wrote on his wall. We all make mistakes. Stephen is happy and that is what's most important! God Bless!
And that's not all Driver is doing to help Stephen Wagner feel better about the whole situation. On Monday the player posted a photograph of himself standing with his arm around the young guy, accompanied by a caption stating that Driver had a great time meeting Stephen and his family. Got him some new cleats, a jersey and a baseball bat. Glad I could help put a smile on his face!
The photo has gathered more than 20,000 likes on Facebook, a testament to the emotional impact the cleat-snatching incident video has had on NFL fans, who have also left hundreds of comments on the picture. Linda Carlson is one such fan:
When you toss things up in the crowd, people react. I think she was reacting in the heat in the moment. But I think she should've let the kid have it, Driver said on CNN.