Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/19/12
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NFL players and others reached out to the families of victims in the Newton, Conn., shootings with various gestures and signs of support Tuesday. New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz visited the home of 6-year-old Jack Pinto, who was one of the victims in the school tragedy last Friday. He was buried Monday in a replica jersey of Cruz, his favorite player. Cruz stayed for three hours before leaving with an police escort. Kids were spotted carrying autographed Giants footballs and jerseys. Afterward, Cruz tweeted, "Much love to the entire Pinto family. Great people with huge hearts. Looking at life through a different lens." Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson called one of the victim's brothers on Tuesday whose family had watched him score on a 94-yard touchdown run Monday night against the New York Jets while wearing the names of the 26 Newtown victims on his cleats. The family of first-grader Grace McDonnell contacted the Titans to express their appreciation for Johnson's gesture and Johnson ended up placing a call. "I don't care who you are. Any time you have kids, you think about that situation," Johnson said, according to The Tennessean. "It's really tough. It just shows you how blessed you are to see your kids every day." Johnson plans to send the family an autographed jersey. In college basketball, Providence players wore green jerseys in Tuesday night's 79-45 win over Colgate with the name of the elementary school "Sandy Hook" on the back. Providence coach Ed Cooley, who once coached at Fairfield near Newtown, said the jerseys would be sent to the victims' families. In Columbus, Ohio, Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey spoke of the Newtown tragedy after his team's loss to Ohio State on Tuesday night. "I don't know what needs to be done," Kelsey said. "I'm not smart enough to know what needs to be done. I know this country's got issues. Is it a gun issue? Is it a mental illness issue? Or is it a society that has lost the fact -- the understanding -- that decent human values are important? "I didn't vote for President Obama. But he's my president now, he's my leader. I need him to step up. Mr. Boehner, the Speaker of the House, he's a Xavier guy, he's a Cincinnati guy. He needs to step up. Parents, teachers, rabbis, priests, coaches, everybody needs to step up. "I'm proud to grow up American. I'm proud to say I'm part of the greatest country ever. And that's got to stay that way. And it'll stay that way if we change. But we've got to change."
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