On August 20, 2013, Von Miller received a six-game suspension from the NFL for violating its drug-abuse policy. This was just four days before the Denver Broncos preseason game versus the St. Louis Rams. My son Boston and I had tickets for this game to celebrate his 7th birthday.
We arrived early to watch players warming up on the field. I observed Von going through drills on the sideline closest to us, but I hesitated to bring this to Boston’s attention knowing that Von was likely focused on the game and not in the mood to interact with fans based on the news of his suspension earlier in the week.
Despite my hesitancy, Boston proudly yelled Von’s name and to my surprise he jogged over to us. Boston was quick to let Von know we were there celebrating his birthday and Von took off his gloves and signed them wishing Boston a happy birthday.
But Von’s offerings didn’t stop there.
After being pulled from the game in the 3rd quarter, Von took the gloves he wore during the game to several of his teammates for their signatures and then brought the gloves to Boston.
This was unreal!
To cap it all off, when the game ended, Von came over to us, took off his cleat, signed it, wished Boston a happy birthday and walked off the field.
I couldn’t believe the generosity of a man who had every reason to have contempt and anger in his heart due to his suspension.
Von Miller is the ultimate story of redemption…from suspension to Super Bowl MVP. But even far more impressive to me is the measurement of somebody’s character when the cards are stacked against them. Von proved he’s not only a champion on the field, but a champion off of it too.