Hillsborough Co. deputy follows lead of Bucs cornerback by doing ‘something good’

Local News

HILLSBOROUGH CO., Fla. (WFLA) – He is smooth on the football field and, apparently, he is a smoothie fanatic.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting shared his appreciation for the work of a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy by treating him to a smoothie on Friday.

The two of them randomly met in the parking lot outside of Tropical Smoothie Café and Starbucks in Carrollwood. The deputy recalled Murphy-Bunting joking that he stole his parking spot and then, within seconds, Murphy-Bunting decided to do something special for him.

“I walked into the coffee shop and got my coffee,” explained Jason Santiago, who is entering his 12th year with HCSO, “and came back out and I saw Sean there and he was like, ‘Hey! I hope you are still thirsty after the coffee. I bought you a smoothie.’ He is like, ‘I thank you for what you do and I appreciate your service.’”

Santiago admitted he did not immediately recognize the 23-year-old cornerback.

“I googled the Bucs roster and I saw his picture,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh, that is him for sure!’”

Murphy-Bunting has not even been in the NFL for two full seasons but he is already changing the game.

“It just shows the overwhelming support we have from our community outweighs the negativity of a few,” said Santiago. “It also shows his character of who he is and not just a football player but behind the helmet, behind the facemask.”

Murphy-Bunting is setting an example, captivating other people, and bringing them with him.

Santiago found Murphy-Bunting’s mother on Instagram and sent her a message.

“I just want to let her know that she raised a great son with high character,” he said.

Then, he acted like Murphy-Bunting acted.

“I wanted to pay it forward,” said Santiago.

Murphy-Bunting’s mother is the founder of a nonprofit organization, Successful Jocks. It strives to empower the mothers of male athletes and Santiago decided to support it.

“I made a donation to the organization,” Santiago said. “Not much but it is what I could do and if we can do more good, it will wash out all of the bad that is happening for sure. Sean sought out me and he made the choice to do something good and I think if we all have that in our minds, making choices to do good, I think we could have a lot better world that we live in.”

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