When Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper was growing up in a housing project in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, his mother Michelle Green, worked tirelessly to support her son. Without access to a car, Green walked miles every week to the multiple jobs she worked, from a cashier to a waitress to a code compliance officer, and when she needed groceries she walked there too.
Green’s dedication to supporting her son in every way she could always stuck with Cooper. When he was interviewed by ESPN during the 2014 Hesiman Trophy ceremony in 2014, he recalled the moment when he knew that he had to repay his mother for everything she sacrificed for him under trying circumstances.
They didn’t have a car, so [Green] had to walk about 3 miles to the Milam’s Market on McDonald Street.
Cooper remembered telling his mom he was too tired to make the walk there and back one day. When she returned, marks lined Green’s arms where she carried all the bags a few miles home.
Cooper called himself selfish.
“I just kept it to myself. It was just an example of how hard she worked, her getting off work so late or working so hard already,” Cooper said. “She sacrificed for us. You want to know how much somebody loves you, just look at how much they sacrifice.”
Entering his third season in the NFL, Cooper was finally able to show his mother how much her efforts meant to him. Cooper posted a picture to Instagram of his mother standing in front of a brand new car, which is parked in front of a brand new house, both gifts purchased by Cooper.
“I grew up in the projects, we didn’t even own a car,” Cooper wrote in the photo caption. “The whole story is way too long and melancholic, but just know a dream can go a long way if it’s followed by faith and hard work. It took us 20-plus years but now my mother has the house and car of her dreams. You deserve it mama, I love you. #JustTheBeginning”
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