Victor Cruz pays tribute to Sandy Hook victim Jack Pinto with cleats (Picture)
Like many other players across the NFL, Victor Cruz played Sunday’s game with an incredibly heavy heart. People all across the nation have felt the impact of the tragic shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, and the New York Giants wide receiver was no exception.
As you can see from the photo above that he tweeted on Sunday morning, Cruz paid tribute to 6-year-old victim Jack Pinto by writing Pinto’s name and “my hero” on one cleat and “RIP Jack Pinto” on the other. As Pinto’s family told Cruz, Jack was a die-hard Giants follower and one of Cruz’s biggest fans.
“There are no words that can describe the type of feeling you get when a kid idolizes you so much that, you know, unfortunately they put him in a casket with your jersey on,” Cruz said Sunday, via Newsday.
On the bottom of the cleats, Cruz had another message for young Jack:
Cruz said he intends to deliver his gloves and shoes from Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons to the Pinto family and spend some time with them. According to USA Today, the NFL will not fine him for the cleats, despite the fact that the league has fined players for writing messages on their uniforms and accessories in the past.
“It was emotional. I was fighting back tears to do it,” Cruz said. “It felt good to honor a family that was going through so much and perhaps to think that messages go out to these athletes — and some athletes just brush them off. So, it felt good to be one of the athletes that listened to that family and did something to pay tribute to them. It felt special.”
Hats off to Cruz for realizing how much he means to the Pinto family, and hats off the the NFL for realizing there are exceptions to the rules. Writing a message to Jack likely does little to ease the pain of losing a 6-year-old son or sibling, but there’s no arguing it was the right thing to do.