Of all the moving tributes this weekend in the NFL to the young victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, Victor Cruz seemed to be leading the charge. Cruz was one of the first and only players to alter his game equipment with a tribute to the victims, as he wrote “Jack Pinto is my hero” on his cleats for Sunday’s game against the Falcons.
The connection between Cruz and the Pinto’s didn’t end with a simple message on his shoes. Cruz met with Jack’s family on Tuesday.
The story of Jack Pinto and Victor Cruz is intensely moving. Cruz learned after Pinto died at Sandy Hook that the six year old was one of Cruz’s biggest fans, so he honored him with the famous cleat gesture. Cruz was so deeply touched by Pinto’s affection for him that he reached out to Pinto’s family and met with them, along with many other young children in the area.
Cruz spent several hours signing jersey’s and footballs for every person he encountered during his visit, but the highlight was meeting with Pinto’s family after a weekend of distance connection.
“Much love to the entire Pinto family.” Cruz tweeted. “Great people with huge hearts. I’m sorry again for your loss. Looking at life through a different lens.”
Cruz meeting with the Pinto’s and developing a genuine connection with them is proof that while humanity failed us on Friday, it’s not a lost cause. We may have monsters in our society but we have heroes as well.
Jack Pinto may be Victor Cruz’s hero, as he is to everyone, but Cruz is a close second for doing his best to try and help a community overcome such a devastating tragedy.
Humanity may have failed on Friday but Cruz is showing that the moral fiber we abide by is stronger than ever.