EAGAN, Minn. -- Kyle Rudolph thought he was donating the gloves he wore while catching the winning touchdown in overtime -- lifting the Minnesota Vikings past the New Orleans Saints -- to a charitable cause. It turns out the tight end was duped by someone who went directly to eBay to sell his game-worn memorabilia for profit.
Rudolph expressed frustration Wednesday with a situation that played out Sunday after the wild-card game, inside the visitors locker room at the Superdome.
I saw this.. it's disappointing. A member of the media in the locker room after the game asked if he could have my gloves for a charity benefit, so I said of course and I will even sign them for you! Well he got me, sold on eBay 3 days later.. https://t.co/JCTO0OWM5n— Kyle Rudolph (@KyleRudolph82) January 8, 2020
"And to clarify it was not anyone I knew.. so wasn't a local reporter I see daily or national reporter," a follow-up tweet read. "Locker room was a zoo, he asked for them, I said of course and even offered to sign them..."
Fortunately, there's a happy ending to this story.
Jason King, a lifelong Vikings fan from Woodbury Heights, New Jersey, purchased Rudolph's gloves around 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday after he saw them on eBay. King is a member of a "Minnesota Vikings Game Used/Issued Memorabilia Group" on Facebook and an avid collector of sports memorabilia. The 34-year-old verified the gloves' authenticity by matching a thread hanging from the left middle finger to a photo taken by Getty Images of Rudolph spiking the ball after his touchdown.
King messaged the account to get more information about the gloves and was told the seller received them "directly" from Rudolph. Nowhere in their message exchange, or the product's post, does the seller detail anything about the proceeds from the gloves being donated to charity.
Rudolph's gloves, which were listed on Wednesday, had a starting bid of $280 and a "buy it now" price of $375, which is the amount King paid.
Shortly after making his purchase, King began to see news of the scam circulating on Twitter. Upon seeing Rudolph's post, King tweeted the tight end that he was the buyer of the gloves and would gladly donate them to charity.
Rudolph responded, directing King to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, where he and his wife, Jordan, have done extensive charitable work throughout his nine-year career with the Vikings. Rudolph then said he would send King the gloves he plans to wear during the Vikings' NFC divisional playoff matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
A donation also was made by eBay to the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital department.
King has yet to receive confirmation from the seller that the gloves are on the way to his home in New Jersey.
"If I end up receiving the gloves, I would like them to be displayed at the children's hospital in honor of Kyle," King told ESPN. "I have four kids myself, and I really appreciate the work he does off the field."
If he does not receive his purchase, King said he plans to donate the money he spent on the gloves toward Kyle Rudolph's End Zone, a 2,500-square-foot space designed to help children and teenagers find a place to play, relax, engage in healing therapies and socialize at Masonic Children's Hospital. King tweeted to encourage others to donate as well.