Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Donald Driver rewards young fan
ESPN.com news services
GRAND CHUTE, Wis. -- The 12-year-old boy who lost a Donald Driver cleat to a woman who ripped it away now has plenty of Green Bay Packers memorabilia.
A video of Driver tossing his cleats into the crowd after a charity softball game in Grand Chute went viral on the Internet. Driver said he was trying to toss a cleat to Stephen Wagner, but Robyn Ereth wrestled it from the boy.
Wagner and Driver appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday.
"I got my hands over it and she took it away from me and kind of walked away," Wagner told ESPN Playbook. "She kind of just said, 'That's mine.' "
So Driver turned to Twitter to find Wagner, arranged to meet him and greeted the boy with some autographed Packers gear, including a pair of cleats, a jersey and a baseball bat.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the bat was signed, "To my No. 1 fan and true hero."
"A lot of people wouldn't care who gets their cleat but he really tried to track me down, so that was really nice. Most pros wouldn't do that," Wagner told ESPN Playbook.
Driver also asked his Twitter followers to leave the woman who took the cleat from Wagner alone.
On Monday night, he tweeted: "Let's remember the woman who grabbed the cleat from Stephen is human. We all make mistakes. Stephen is happy and that's what matters most!"
Stephen's mom, Mary Wagner, said the woman in the video called to apologize. She explained she thought Driver was throwing the cleat to her.
"We told her that we didn't have any bad feelings toward her," Mary Wagner told the Journal Sentinel. "She offered to send the cleat back. She was wonderful."
In a statement released to Appleton Post-Crescent, Ereth said she "overreacted in the excitement of the moment."
Stephen Wagner said Ereth offered to give him the shoe back, but he felt she deserved to keep it after being subjected to so much negative publicity.
"She didn't know it was coming to me," Wagner said. "I just feel sorry that she's having a lot of mean things said to her."
Information from ESPN Playbook's Matt Lindner and The Associated Press was used in this report.