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Chris Johnson phones family of Newtown victim

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A day after writing the names of every victim of the Newtown tragedy on his cleats before the Tennessee Titans played the New York Jets on Monday night, running back Chris Johnson got in contact with the family of one of the murdered children.

According to Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press, the family of seven-year old Grace McDonnell reached out to Johnson through the Titans organization and got in touch with him on Tuesday. He spoke with members of the McDonnell family, including Grace’s older brother, Jack.

You get a whole sense of it and just him and the kids … that [Jack] was trying to be strong, but it’s a situation I can tell how he feels,” Johnson said. “I lost my grandmother earlier in this year and just knowing how that feels I just kind of wanted to do something to at least try to lift his spirits.”

Johnson has sent Christmas gifts to the McDonnell family and still intends to auction off the shoes he wore on Monday night to raise money to help the families. However, he doesn’t want the spotlight to be on him because of his prominence and desire to help out.

“I kind of want to step back. … I kind of did it for the kids and the family. I really don’t want to make it about me,” Johnson said.

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33 Responses to “Chris Johnson phones family of Newtown victim”
  1. lmoneyfresh says: Dec 20, 2012 11:06 PM

    I’m not a huge fan of CJ2K, but this is a hell of a class move by him. Kudos CJ.

  2. RedRuffensor says: Dec 20, 2012 11:10 PM

    Nice gesture, Chris.

  3. kingkreg12 says: Dec 20, 2012 11:14 PM

    Nice to see people from all walks of life doing what they can here. It’s good to see a guy like Chris give back like this since he has caught a lot of flack in the past. Those names on his shoes carried him on that 94 yard td on Monday. Hope to see more fortunate athletes and role models step up like Chris and so many others already have.

    My heart goes out to all the families who suffered in this tragedy :,(

  4. rushbacker says: Dec 20, 2012 11:14 PM

    Wow. Never thought I’d be lauding Chris Johnson for his maturity, but well done. I’m sure any bit of help that can be provided to the families is beyond needed.

  5. flaccounibrow says: Dec 20, 2012 11:14 PM

    I never was fond of this guy, but this situation caused a complete 1-80 on my feelings. Pure Class!!! I’ll be a fan for now on.

  6. p4hbiz says: Dec 20, 2012 11:17 PM

    Great Job CJ!

  7. dalucks says: Dec 20, 2012 11:18 PM

    That is why he is the face of the franchise. They would have been a playoff team if they would have left Jake Locker on the bench this season.
    Oh well, GO T-E-X-A-N-S.

  8. bleedburgandyandgold says: Dec 20, 2012 11:20 PM

    Well done CJ

  9. nachosnachosnachos says: Dec 20, 2012 11:21 PM

    “I kind of want to step back. … I kind of did it for the kids and the family. I really don’t want to make it about me” …..says the man to the news reporter…

  10. jerze2387 says: Dec 20, 2012 11:25 PM

    I see a lot of people werent fond of CJ2K on here…idk why. hes not one of the players always getting in legal trouble. The only bad thing i can think of was his contract mess and the down year (which, on a team with no QB, WR, or O-line, besides Adrian peterson, nobody could perform on with 8 in the box), but contract disputes are normal. Anyway, Nice move by CJ2K

  11. tjh19 says: Dec 20, 2012 11:25 PM

    A news reporter who very well may have asked CJ about it. What’s he supposed to do? Deny it?

  12. shivablast says: Dec 20, 2012 11:28 PM

    Class move, and he’s not alone in that. I’m impressed at the outpouring of support from professional athletes. I do, however, take issue with CJ2K saying that he knows how it feels because he lost his grandmother this year. Losing any loved one is hard, granted, but this tragedy goes far beyond the passing of an elderly relative.

  13. obie09 says: Dec 20, 2012 11:29 PM

    Of course a guy like nachosnaschos^50 has to say something like that. These guys have to talk to the media. Whatever they do is news especially when it’s related to a huge tragedy like this and the family contacted him first. He said exactly the right thing and I fully believe he means it yet you still find a way to try to say CJ is a lame or w/e you’re getting at. It’s pretty sad actually.

  14. obie09 says: Dec 20, 2012 11:31 PM

    Also I’m actually proud of PFT for posting this. For years you guys have seemed EXTREMELY anti CJ and I had been telling people you would never post a story that shed CJ in a positive light like this. I’m pleasantly surprised.

  15. retief1954 says: Dec 20, 2012 11:32 PM

    Nice to see a story about one of these guys helping out. Full marks, Chris Johnson.

  16. rustygrizzwald says: Dec 20, 2012 11:34 PM

    In years of reading this site, I think this is first article where the thumbs are all in agreement. Pretty cool.

  17. disgruntledlesbian says: Dec 21, 2012 12:27 AM

    Way to go Chris!

  18. matckeeper says: Dec 21, 2012 12:34 AM

    As a Packer fan I will not be rooting that hard for Johnson.
    However, anyone of his status that shows support for this situation in Connecticut is okay in my book…Good luck on Sunday

  19. njdx1964 says: Dec 21, 2012 12:41 AM

    why didn’t he just give them some of his gold teeth

  20. azdesertdweller says: Dec 21, 2012 1:34 AM

    This is a really cool story. Good job, CJ.

  21. thermalito says: Dec 21, 2012 2:23 AM

    Guns are the worst evil ever thrust upon man

  22. tramonisland says: Dec 21, 2012 3:00 AM

    CJ2K and Victor Cruz are solid dudes. New respect for both of those fellows.

  23. gcbean says: Dec 21, 2012 3:28 AM

    Simply a great gesture.

  24. steelcitychamps6x says: Dec 21, 2012 3:50 AM

    Can’t believe Anyone would try to make this a negative. CJ should be applauded for this. nachos just has an issue for no reason at all

  25. rgf1982 says: Dec 21, 2012 4:14 AM

    if you read this mr. johnson do realize you are a true class act. theres no way for that family to ever recover but sometimes a phone call means alot. I hope your shoes go for millions.

  26. sdelmonte says: Dec 21, 2012 4:28 AM

    I know the athletes getting involved in this are trying to do the right thing, but I have to wonder if there are people who don’t want to get contacted by famous strangers. I would assume that some go-between is making sure it’s okay. And that some families might be saying no.

  27. arrogantathlete says: Dec 21, 2012 4:54 AM

    Yeah losing my grandmother of natural causes is the same thing as a 5 year old kids getting brutally murdered. yeah but its not about him.

  28. hustleandflomax says: Dec 21, 2012 7:39 AM

    I thought that was odd of him to bring his grandmother’s death up. Not quite the same, Chris, but a nice gesture nevertheless.

  29. dannythebisforbeast says: Dec 21, 2012 8:55 AM

    Better than doing nothing. I wouldn’t have compared losing a grandparent to a murdered child but he could have ignored thei request. Hate the Yankees but Jeter is still the class act of all sports.

  30. 1uniquename says: Dec 21, 2012 10:29 AM

    He was simply saying losing a loved one is very difficult so he can kind of understand, I’m 31, never lost anyone close, knock on wood, so I have no idea at all how these people felt, cj lost a loved one recently and knows the feeling, anyways good move CJ new respect for you now.

  31. burgandy2260 says: Dec 21, 2012 11:13 AM

    Total class…what a gentlemanly move by him!

  32. whatnojets says: Dec 21, 2012 11:34 AM

    Now that’s a man with a big heart!

    Kudos to you Chris!

  33. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 21, 2012 1:06 PM

    arrogantathlete says:
    Dec 21, 2012 4:54 AM
    Yeah losing my grandmother of natural causes is the same thing as a 5 year old kids getting brutally murdered. yeah but its not about him.



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