Gresham says reaction to his act of kindness 'was crazy'

TEMPE, Ariz. -- When Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham paid a $50 baggage fee so a woman could board her flight Thursday, he said he was just doing what he felt was right -- what he hoped anybody would've done.

"I just feel like it's just how I was raised," he said in his first public comments since the gesture. "Core values. You see somebody in distress, just help them out. Nothing more, nothing less."

On Thursday, while waiting to board a flight, Gresham noticed a young woman, Delilah Cassidy, who, according to her Twitter profile, attends law school at Arizona State, having a conversation with an American Airlines gate agent. Cassidy was informed that she would have to pay to carry on her bag. She tried to consolidate her bags, but after measuring them, the gate agent told her she would have to pay $50. Having just returned from a European trip, Cassidy said her credit cards weren't working. She tried to pay cash at the gate, but the agent told her she'd have to go back to the ticket counter to pay with cash. That would've meant missing her flight.

He didn't hear the first part of Cassidy's conversation with the gate agent but heard the agent tell Cassidy that she would have to go back to the counter and would miss her flight. Gresham said he wasn't about to let that happen.

"I was like, 'Naw,'" Gresham said. "That would be a terrible feeling to have, so I wasn't going to let that happen. I was right there. I had my wallet in my pocket. I was like, 'Here just swipe the card. It's 50 bucks. Catch a flight. It wasn't much to it."

Maybe not to him, but to Cassidy -- and thousands of others -- there was a lot to it.

Gresham didn't expect his random act of kindness to go viral.

"It was just crazy," he said. "Really wasn't expecting it. It was just crazy."

In fact, he actually was unaware it did.

Gresham, who's not on Twitter anymore because the social media platform "wasn't for me," received a text from a Cardinals employee that he was a "viral sensation." At first, Gresham was taken aback.

"I was like, 'For what? I didn't get arrested or nothing like that,'" Gresham said.

Gresham was texted the photo Cassidy tweeted of the two after they arrived. Then he knew.

"I was like, 'Oh, wow,'" Gresham said. "It really wasn't much to me. You see somebody having a situation and if you could help, I hope you would help."

Gresham said Cassidy was "very, very, very appreciative" and thanked him "20 times" from the gate to his seat.

Gresham didn't care Tuesday if people all over the country knew his name for his act of kindness last week. He understands the reality of professional sports.

"To be honest with you, because I'm pretty sure somebody's going to hate me later on anyway, so it is what it is," he said. "It was cool. I'm happy she made her flight more than anything. I'm not really a media person."

The message Gresham hoped to spread was the same one that he said was instilled in him as a child.

"I hope everybody in the world would do something like that," he said. "She was very respectful and she was very thankful, so seeing her smile and just her appreciation was worth it 10 times over."