The New York Giants held their annual Kickoff Luncheon at MetLife Stadium on Tuesday where Chris Canty was recognized not only for his work on the field, but especially within the community. Canty spoke to those present at the luncheon, encouraging them to become more active in assisting others around them.
Canty has a reputation for helping those who need it most, predominantly through the Chris Canty Foundation which states its goal is to "enhance the total development of youth by working with families and neighborhood programs synergistically to provide avenues for children to develop their talents and gifts."
A video played at the event showed several examples of Canty's kindness, including him dressed in Santa Claus attire handing out gifts to children, reading to kids in a classroom, passing out food at a soup kitchen, and coaching kids at a football camp.
Canty read off a list of people he wanted to thank including his parents Joseph and Reverend Shirley Canty, the Mara and Tisch families, his coaches, and his teammates. Chris' speech explained why he dedicates so much of his time to helping others.
“[People] ask me all the time why I do the things that I do. There’s nothing quite like it. Being able to see the smile on a kid’s face when you come into the school and you have an opportunity to read to them or just to be able to provide the spark that inspires them to dream and achieve – there’s nothing like it. It’s an awesome feeling and you don’t have to run a fast 40 time or you don’t have to bench 225 thirty times to be able to experience that feeling. Everybody has something to give, whether it is your resources, a specific skill or talent or simply your time. Everybody has something to give and we all can make our community a better place. We all can have a positive impact in the lives of others.”
Chris understands that with being a professional football player, someone who gets a lot of publicity and not to mention a hefty salary, comes a great deal of responsibility and opportunity.
“To have an opportunity to join the legacy that is the New York Football Giants is truly a blessing,” Canty said. “That blessing comes with tremendous responsibility, a responsibility to be in service to those around me. Not just the coaches and my teammates and the people over in the Timex (Performance Center, the Giants’ headquarters), but also to my community, a community that’s given us so much. So it’s only right and it’s only fitting that we take the opportunity to give back.
A large section of his speech talked about head coach Tom Coughlin's influence on him and his ability to motivate him and his teammates. Coughlin is also someone who is known for his charity work.
“Coach Coughlin does this thing in our team meetings in the morning; he’ll leave us with an inspirational quote or just a few words of wisdom, mostly from John Wooden (the late, great UCLA basketball coach). I felt it would be fitting this afternoon to close my remarks with a Wooden. Coach Wooden said that you can never live a perfect day until you do something for someone that will never be able to repay you. Thank you all. God Bless. Go Giants.
In a league whose players have recently earned a reputation for getting arrested for DUI's and assaults, it is refreshing to see a man like Chris Canty get recognized for being the opposite, a model citizen who doesn't take his opportunity in the NFL for granted. Chris is exactly the type of high character player the Giants organization prides themselves in employing. He was recently placed on the PUP list which will keep him from seeing the field till after week six of the regular season, though certainly his teammates and fans are looking forward to a healthy return to action for the Giants' Man of the Year.
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