During the telecast of Ohio State University’s rivalry football game against the University of Michigan on Saturday, it was revealed on national television that the school’s record-breaking running back was nearly aborted.
Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins was the center of attention Saturday as he rushed for a career-high 211 yards and four touchdowns against the rival Wolverines in Ann Arbor.
After Dobbins’ final touchdown of the game, broadcaster Gus Johnson told the Fox audience a little bit about Dobbins' backstory.
Johnson explained that Dobbins' mother, Mya Grounds, was pregnant with him at the age of 18.
“She went to the doctor because she was thinking about aborting the baby, but changed her mind,” Johnson said.
“That baby turned out to be that young man — J.K. Dobbins — who she calls her ‘miracle baby.’”
As the Ohio State versus Michigan game was the second-most watched game of the college football season, Johnson’s comment drew praise from pro-life activists.
“Wow! A @CFBONFOX football announcer just shared that the mother of star @OhioState player, @Jkdobbins22, walked out of an abortion facility & rejected abortion after becoming pregnant at 18,” the pro-life activist group Live Action tweeted.
The pro-life advocacy group March for Life, which organizes the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., tweeted that Dobbins’ story is proof that “[e]very child deserves the chance to reach their full potential.”
Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott tweeted that “every child is a special gift who deserves to be welcomed into the world with open and loving arms.”
“Every child is full of great potential!” he wrote.
In a blog post, Live Action further commented on Dobbins’ story.
“While not everyone grows up to be a star football player, every child has value, even before he or she is born,” the Live Action blog post reads. “Every child has limitless potential, and circumstances or assumptions — or even poor prenatal diagnoses — should never determine the value of a human being’s life. Thankfully, Dobbins’ mother realized this before it was too late for both her and her son.”
Dobbins, who grew up in Texas, is the son of Grounds and the late Lawrence Dobbins, who died from a stroke while in prison in 2014. Dobbins was convicted of theft.
"My dad taught me a lot of things through actions and through words," Dobbins was quoted as telling Cleveland.com. "Seeing what he was doing, and the trouble he got in, I didn't want to be like that. And he told me he didn't want me to be like that. So that's how I see it. I didn't want to go there."
Because of his performance on Saturday, Dobbins was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. He also picked up the most all-purpose yards ever (260) for an Ohio State player in a single game against Michigan.
During the game, Dobbins passed former Buckeye and current Dallas Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliot, for second on the all-time Ohio State rushing list.
“All Glory to God,” tweeted Dobbins in response to passing Elliott on the Buckeye rushing list.
On the season, Dobbins has rushed for 1,657 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. He also has 200 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.