8 NFL Players Touched By Adoption | Super Bowl Sunday

There are more adoption connections inside the NFL than you might think!

Liz Young February 07, 2016

There are a surprising number of people in the NFL who have been touched by adoption.

This Super Bowl, between enjoying the hilarious commercials and delicious snacks, watch for adoptee Michael Oher (Carolina Panthers) and adoptive dad DeMarcus Ware (Denver Broncos).

Guess who else in the NFL has an adoption connection?

Scott Fujita
1. Scott Fujita

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Scott Fujita was adopted into a Japanese-American home as an infant. He was drafted into the NFL by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2002. Fujita played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Cleveland Browns as well as the New Orleans Saints from 2007-2009, where he earned a Super Bowl Championship ring in his final season there. Fujita is a great supporter of adoption and has been a public spokesperson for Adoption Awareness Month and foster care adoption.

Eric Dickerson
2. Eric Dickerson

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Eric Dickerson is a NFL Hall of Fame running back who enjoyed a successful 10 years in the NFL. Dickerson played for the LA Rams, Indianapolis Colts, LA Raiders, and the Atlanta Falcons before he retired as the second leading rusher of all time in 1993. Dickerson was adopted by his birth mother’s great aunt, Viola Dickerson.

Tim Green
3. Tim Green

Tim Green has seen success in various roles, including lawyer, author, radio commentator, and professional football player. Green was drafted into the NFL in 1986 by the Atlanta Falcons. He played linebacker and defensive end for the Falcons until his retirement in 1993. Green was adopted as an infant and later went on to search for his birth mother. He recounts his personal journey in his 1997 book A Man and His Mother: An Adopted Son’s Search.

Daunte Culpepper
4. Daunte Culpepper

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Daunte Culpepper was adopted as an infant by Emma Lewis Culpepper, an employee of the correctional facility where his birth mother was serving time. Culpepper, a quarterback, was drafted in 1999 by the Minnesota Vikings. He later went on to play for the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, and the Detroit Lions before his retirement from the NFL.

Dan Marino
5. Dan Marino

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Dan Marino is known as one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1983 and played for team until his retirement in 1999. Marino is not an adoptee, but an adoptive parent. He and his wife, Claire, adopted two of their children from China. Over the years Marino has been known as a great advocate for adoption and autism.

Colin Kaepernick
6. Colin Kaepernick

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Colin Kaepernick was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 as a backup quarterback. He led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season, but lost to the New Orleans Saints. Kaepernick was adopted as an infant after his birth mother, who was 19 at the time, chose to place him for adoption after his birth father left them.

DeMarcus Ware
7. DeMarcus Ware

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DeMarcus Ware and his wife adopted their daughter as an infant after struggling with infertility and suffering the heartbreak of a stillbirth. The couple went on to have a biological son as well. Ware is a linebacker and was drafted in 2005 by the Dallas Cowboys, where he played until 2014. He has played for the Denver Broncos, who will face the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, ever since he left the Cowboys.

Michael Oher
9. Michael Oher

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Michael Oher is probably the most well-known NFL adoptee. The story of his adoption into the Tuohy family and his rise to football excellence was documented in the 2009 movie The Blind Side. Oher entered the foster care system at the age of seven and bounced around to many different families and schools until entering Briarcrest Christian School in high school, where he met the Tuohy family. Oher was drafted into the NFL in 2009 by the Baltimore Ravens. He currently plays offensive tackle for Super Bowl 50 contender, the Carolina Panthers.

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Liz Young

Liz and her husband are foster parents in Illinois. They adopted their three boys through foster care. Liz shares personal experiences from her crazy journey of foster parenting at The Crazy House

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