After scoring his first two touchdowns as a member of the Buffalo Bills, Emmanuel Sanders decided to celebrate by handing out some souvenirs — one of them particularly memorable for a young fan.
Sanders found the endzone twice in team’s 43-21 blowout win over Washington Football Team on September 26, and both touchdown balls found their way into the hands of some lucky fans. Sanders opened up about the decision and the special moment it made for one young supporter.
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Sanders Gives Back
Sanders opened the scoring for the Bills in the first quarter, snagging a 28-yard pass from quarterback Josh Allen to put the Bills up 7-0, a lead they would never relinquish. Afterward, the 34-year-old wide receiver threw the ball into the stands, which the Buffalo News noted will earn him a $7,210 fine from the NFL as a violation of sportsmanship rules.
Sanders snagged another 5-yard touchdown from Allen to open the scoring in the second half and took a more calculated approach to his celebration, selecting a young fan in the front row and handing the ball to him. The fan — identified as Dylan DiMaggio — had a shocked look on his face and could be seen on the broadcast saying “Oh my God” multiple times.
Speaking to reporters after the win, Sanders said it was his favorite moment of the game.
“Aw, man. It felt good. It felt really good,” Sanders said when asked about his two touchdown grabs. “I think the best part was handing that ball to that kid and seeing the reaction. I think that’s what it’s about.”
Sanders had his best day as a member of the Bills, making five receptions for 94 yards and two touchdowns. After the game, Allen had some high praise for his new target.
“Guy that just constantly does what he’s asked in the run game and the pass game,” Allen told reporters in a video conference. “He’s a vet in this league, he does everything right. He’s got juice. He’s been great for me, I know he’s been great for the other guys in this locker room… to have that guy, who’s been there and done it and won the whole thing, to have his prescience in his locker room, it’s huge for us.”
Helping His Community
Sanders has been doing a lot of giving back in Buffalo this week. As the team’s official website noted, this week he announced the relaunch of his charitable foundation in Buffalo and paid a visit to Harriet Ross Tubman School to talk to kids. Sanders gave $20,000 to the foundation, which helps give opportunities to kids from disadvantaged families. For his efforts, Sanders was named the Week 3 NFLPA Community MVP.
Speaking to Buffalo’s WIVB-TV earlier in the week, Sanders said he grew up disadvantaged as well and wanted to help give opportunities to kids in the same situation.
“When I got to the NFL I said you know what, I’m going to start up a foundation to really give back to kids, and support kids. Whether it’s sports, mentally, physically, however I need to. I have to find a way to be able to give back because so many people gave back to me,” Sanders said.