Despite being nominated for the 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, American footballer Jimmy Graham's journey to his current success was not easy.

His early life was a struggle as he was moved from one foster care to another because of his neglectful parents, especially his mother.

But Graham's life changed when he was adopted by one of the foster parents named Becky Vinson, who saw potential in him and supported him when his biological parents didn't.

Jimmy Graham's Biological Parents Neglected Him

The football player didn't have loving biological parents, he never knew his biological father, and he was never close to his biological mother.

At the age of 9, Graham's stepfather dropped him off at the doorstep of social services because his mom didn't give him her monthly $98 child support.

When he was 11, his mom briefly took him back, but only to put him into a state-run group home for orphans and juvenile delinquents.

In foster care, the NFL player had to fight for everything; he was alone and hopeless, and his grades were falling.

He was bullied every day and remembered crying himself to sleep every night; he had a difficult life in the group home where he was beaten and had to fight for something to eat.

Rounding off about his traumatic childhood in the absence of his parents, the North Carolina native exclaimed that the difficult time helped shape his character. 

Becky Vinson Changed Jimmy Graham's Life

The 35-year-old footballer's life changed when he met Becky Vinson at a house church meeting.

Becky was a 25-year-old single mother with a 5-year-old child attending nursing school. Her life was not well-off, but still, she adopted Graham as she saw potential in him.

Graham was inspired by his new legal guardian focused on his improved grades and becoming better in basketball. 

The American baller received a scholarship from the University of Miami as a student-athlete and graduated with honors on a double major in marketing and management.

Then he planned to play basketball after graduation but decided to pursue a football career, which was his childhood interest. 

And because of that support from Becky, he became one of the best NFL players as a tight end for the Chicago Bears.

He was first drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2010 and later went on to play for Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. 

On top of his successful NFL career, he is also a commercial pilot. He obtained a pilot's license in 2011 and owns a private plane.

Jimmy Graham Forgave His Mother

With time, Graham has also learned to let go and forgive, which he did to his biological mother.

In an interview, the 6-foot-7-inch football tight end revealed that it took him some time to forgive his mother and let go of the resentment towards his mother. "I've forgiven my mom, but I'll certainly never forget," he stated. 

Then he mentioned his adoptive mom and shared she meant the world to him. "She took me in and gave me an opportunity,?" he added.

Does Jimmy Graham Have a Wife?

When it comes to his present relationship status, Graham is not married and does not have a wife.

However, the player does have a huge female fan base.

For example, in 2012, when the Chicago Bears player posted on Twitter that he was on his way to attend his colleagues' wedding, he was bombarded with comments from female fans expressing their desire to marry him.

Although Graham is very private about his personal life, the NFL star doesn't seem to have a lack of options in case of relationships.