We’ve shared some powerful stories before about celebrities writing meaningful letters. There was this letter written by Jennifer Aniston on a woman’s true value, and there was this letter written by Tom Hanks to the daughters of late NFL legend Ken Stabler, Hanks’ personal hero. Once again, we’re sharing the story of a meaningful celebrity letter, but– this time– it’s to the parents of a deceased college student, from an NFL superstar.
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You’ve probably heard of Tom Brady. The famous football player has maintained a lengthy career and has been awarded 4 Super Bowl rings. Calvin Riley, on the other hand, is probably a name that is new to you. That’s because– before he could reach Tom-Brady-fame– Calvin was killed.
Calvin was shot in the back last summer while playing Pokemon Go in a San Francisco park. No one knows who murdered him or why, but the 20-year-old baseball player died instantly that fateful night. Calvin’s parents and his friends at his alma mater– Serra High School in San Mateo, California– were understandably shocked by the news.
At the time of his untimely death, Calvin was a pitcher at a junior college. As news of his untimely death spread to other Serra High alumni, the story reached another athlete’s ears: Tom Brady.
When Tom Brady heard that a fellow athlete and fellow Serra High graduate had passed away in such a terrible way, he knew he had to do something. That’s when he wrote a two-page, handwritten letter to Sean and Karriann Riley, Calvin’s parents.
“My kid loved Tom Brady,” said Dad, Sean, of Calvin. In fact, Calvin was a Brady fan even before he enrolled at Serra High. The Dad called getting the letter “just surreal.”
“It’s two pages, handwritten. It would have been easy to send a card or an email. It tells you what kind of human being he is.”
The Rileys decided to keep the contents of Brady’s letter private, but they did say that it meant the world to them.
“It celebrated the life of my kid. Tom talked about the brotherhood of the people at Serra, what a special community it is. That letter, it meant so much. My kid took so much pride in being part of Serra. And he really did love Tom Brady. I can’t say that enough.”
Tom Brady may have never met Calvin Riley, but he clearly left a big impact on Calvin’s grieving family. He may be an NFL superstar, but he’s never forgotten his roots.
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