The New York Giants receiver on Wednesday somberly recounted his hour-long visit with Jack Pinto’s family a day earlier, and says he was most affected when asked about their decision to bury their son in his No. 80 jersey.
Q: Can you explain your tweet about looking at life through a different lens?
A: When you visit a family that’s going through so much and facing so much turmoil in their lives; you meet the family, you see people and the things they’re going through, it helps you look at life through a different lens, like I said. It really changes your view and the way you used to look at things. It changes your view of it.
Q: When you got home from their house did you spend some time with your daughter?
A: Yeah, most definitely. Ever since it happened I’ve kind of been spending a little bit more time with her and cherishing the little moments and times you get with her. You never know when that can be taken from you.
Q: What was it like being there with the family?
A: It was an emotional time. I spent a little bit of time with them and we got to smile a little bit, which was good for them. It was a time where I just wanted to be a positive voice, a positive light in a time where it can be very negative. It was a good time. They’re a great family and they are really united right now at this time. It was good to see.
Q: Who were your heroes when you were six-years-old?
A: My heroes when I was six-years-old were my dad and different athletes. I was a big-time athlete, and I loved sports at that time. That was Michael Jordan, guys like that were definitely big time heroes to me.
Q: Were other kids from the neighborhood there as well?
A: Yeah, there were some kids. The local kids’ football team, Pop Warner team came by and I spent some time with them. (I) played a little Madden with them as well. It was some good times with those kids, it was good.
Q: What was the ride up there like for you?
A: I had no expectations. I was a little nervous. I just didn’t know how I was going to be received. You never know when they’re going through something like that how it’s going to go down. Once I got there and I saw all the kids there with my jersey on, the family…the family was outside and they were still pretty emotional, crying, stuff like that. I saw how affected they were by just my presence alone. I got out and gave them the cleats and gloves and they appreciated it. The older brother, he was still pretty emotional and stuff like that so I gave the cleats and stuff to him. I proceeded to sign stuff for the kids and go inside and just spend some quality time with them.
Q: Was it a situation where you just wanted to listen to what they had to say?
A: Yeah, definitely. I didn’t want to go in there and make a speech or anything. I just wanted to go there and spend some time with them and be someone that they can talk to and be someone that they can vent to, talk about how much of fans they are to the team or different times where they watched the Super Bowl; I was sitting in the seat where the dad watched our Super Bowl last year. It was good.
Q: Did they know you were coming?
A: Yeah, we called them just to get their schedule, just to make sure we didn’t miss them. They were home and they knew I was on my way up there.