Victor Cruz Honors Young Sandy Hook Shooting Victim

Sunday night was tinged in emotion for the New York Giants. Especially for Victor Cruz.

During the team’s game against the Atlanta Falcons yesterday, our June-July 2012 cover model wrote the name “Jack Pinto” on his cleats and gloves. The gesture was a tender tribute to the 6-year-old boy, who was among those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last week in Newtown, Connecticut.

According to the New York Daily News, Jack was a huge fan of Cruz. The Super Bowl Champ told the newspaper that the deceased boy’s family is considering burying him in his No. 80 jersey, which was very humbling to hear.

“It was an emotional time. It really shows you what type of effect that athletes have on kids,” the 26-year-old football star said. “Not just seeing you on TV. They want to be you. They idolize you. They wear your jersey everywhere.”

On his Twitter profile, Cruz posted an image of his cleats, which partly read: “JACK PINTO ‘MY HERO” and “R.I.P JACK PINTO.”

“Today’s game is for you Jack,” Cruz tweeted along with the photo. Before that, the star player also tweeted his sincere condolences to the Pinto family – adding that his prayers are with them “during this extremely difficult time.”

Cruz’s team joined him in mourning the rest of the victims –  on the backs of their helmets, the players hand-wrote “S.H.E.S” with a Sharpie marker. “S.H.E.S” stands for Sandy Hook Elementary School. What an incredible gesture on the team’s behalf – we’re sure the victims' families were touched.

This past Saturday, the Connecticut State Police released a list of the names of the 26 victims who were killed in the tragedy. The victims include 12 girls, eight boys and six adult women.

Our thoughts remain with the victims and their families.