The Newtown, Conn., school shooting didn’t hit anyone in the NFL harder than Victor Cruz on Sunday.
The Giants wide receiver honored a 6-year-old victim from the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy by writing a message to the young boy on his cleats and gloves after he learned he was the boy’s favorite player. Now, Cruz wants to visit Jack Pinto‘s family in Newtown to get to know them, according to Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger.
Cruz spoke to the family on Saturday night in his hotel room before their game against the Falcons — a game New York would lose 34-0. Pinto’s family said that Jack would wear his No. 80 Cruz jersey every Sunday while watching the Giants. Cruz had an emotional conversation with the boy’s 11-year-old brother.
“He couldn’t say much, just that I was his brother’s favorite player,” Cruz said. “He was fighting tears. I was just telling him to stay strong, to stay positive, and that I’ll help the family any way that I can.”
Cruz plans to give the family the cleats and gloves that he honored Jack with when he travels to Connecticut. Cruz hadn’t planned a special celebration for Pinto if he had scored a touchdown, but he said he still would have done his famous salsa dance. Pinto’s family said they are considering burying their son in a Cruz jersey.
Watch the video above to hear Cruz talk about Pinto and his family.