Johnathan Abram remembers waking up before the crack of dawn and watching his mom leave for work before anyone else was on the road, and he revealed what that was like in his Players' Tribune piece released Thursday.
The Las Vegas Raiders safety "was raised on burgers and fries" and he's proud of it. For as long as Abram can remember, his mother worked at Wendy's to put food on the table for him and his brother, often spending more time at work than at his little league games, but Johnathan admired her for that.
Determined to make ends meet, Johnathan never saw his mother complain or whine about the circumstances of which they lived, and she went above and beyond to give him a chance to play football.
"She never let us see her stressed," he says. "I only understood it when I got older. I caught her in a vulnerable moment. I think I was in high school, and it was real late at night. I was supposed to be asleep. I went into her room to ask her something, and she was sitting on the bed … just crying."
In the year Johnathan's been a Raider, he's made sure to give back to the woman who gave him every chance she could to help him succeed in life, gifting her a car and a new home.
Abram's upbringing is about more than perseverance, it's about giving essential workers around the country the respect they deserve.
You can read his full piece here.
Take a look at exclusive photos from the Raiders' walk through and workout at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center.