It’s one thing to put a sticker on a helmet.
The Giants proved they’re in it with Newtown, Conn., yesterday, with about 20 players making the trip to spend the day with kids from Sandy Hook Elementary and other area schools at a sports camp.
The team and the league set up the visit, with players hanging out, talking and just playing with the kids in the community devastated by the school shooting four months ago.
“My daughter is 6 years old. You couldn’t imagine having that happen to your family and how tough it would be to have your daughter at the school and be in harm’s way like that,” Giants tackle David Diehl said, via Mike Garafolo of USA Today. “When it’s your family that’s never been put in that situation or you have a healthy daughter, it’s your obligation to go out and help others. I know if my daughter has a cold, I would do anything I could to take on the cold so she wouldn’t have to. Here, you’re dealing with major things adults have a tough time handling, let alone children.
“It wasn’t about being a New York Giant and doing this thing for PR or any of this stuff. I don’t even like doing this interview because we did this strictly for the kids and for them and took the night so it was all about the kids. It wasn’t about us.”
In times like this, it’s important for everyone involved in football to know their roles — as entertainment, a distraction.
And while everyone remembers the tragedy in that community, like the one so fresh in Boston right now, Diehl said there was no mention of the shootings during his visit.
“It was all looking at the now,” Diehl said. “That’s the thing, everybody was so positive and so uplifting and it was just so positive. You look at these kids and hear them talk about goals and different things – ‘I want to be a football player,’ or, ‘I want to be a lawyer’ – just listen to kids talking. That’s what it’s all about – helping them recover and look toward the future.
“You could definitely see the positive all these kids have.”
Hopefully, there will come a point in time where the same feeling will be possible in the Boston area, while the country watches and waits.