The Giants’ star receiver wore the name “Jack Pinto” on his cleats and gloves during the Giants’ tough, 34-0 loss to Atlanta in honor of a six-year-old boy killed during the mass school shooting on Friday morning. Cruz called Jack’s family after learning he was a huge fan of Cruz and the Giants.
Jack was such a big fan of Cruz that his family is even considering burying him in Cruz’s No. 80 Giants jersey, Cruz said. “It was very humbling to hear how big of a fan he was and how they were thinking about putting my jersey on him for the services,” Cruz said. “It was an emotional time. It really shows you what type of effect that athletes have on kids. Not just seeing you on TV. They want to be you. They idolize you. They wear your jersey everywhere.
This first time, Cruz and Jack’s family didn’t talk for very long, just a few minutes of shared sadness. But Cruz pledged to honor Jack’s memory in Sunday’s game, and more importantly, pledged that he’d be there for the family for a long time to come.
He’ll head to Newtown later this week to present Jack’s family with the cleats and the gloves. He was sketchy about the exact date, perhaps because he didn’t know, perhaps because he’d rather not turn a visit with the Pinto family into a media opportunity. “The last thing I want to do is add stress on the family in this tough time,” he said.
How sweet of Victor!