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.