The Patriots will honor the victims of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school tragedy by wearing the town decal along with a black ribbon on their helmets during tonight’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Patriots will also donate $25,000 to help Newtown, Conn. and the families affected by Friday’s tragedy, team president Jonathan Kraft told NFL.com on Sunday morning. Rand-Whitney, a corrugated box company owned by the Kraft family, had a factory less than one mile from Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Kraft told NFL.com that he had called the factory on Friday to send along well-wishes to a longtime employee that was retiring from the company. Kraft was then informed of the tragedy nearby and that instead of a holding a retirement celebration the company was hosting counseling sessions and providing space to media members covering the school shooting.
“To me, the adults who lost their children in this are so important, the future of the school and how it moves forward is important, the town is important,” Kraft told NFL.com on Sunday morning. “It’s not for us to make the decision on what to do with the money. But we’re gonna help.”
Kraft also said that the school shooting had an a noticeable impact in the Patriots’ locker room.
“The players have been really affected by it, just hearing guys talk,” Kraft told NFL.com. “You never hear guys talk about current events, but the guys were talking about it on Friday afternoon and Saturday in the building. A lot of guys have young children. A lot of guys have guns. There was a lot of talk here.”
Before the game, 26 white flares will be lit up at Gillette Stadium during the moment of silence to honor the 26 victims of the shooting.
The New York Giants also will honor the victims by having S.H.E.S. (Sandy Hook Elementary School) written on their helmets for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Photo courtesy of New England Patriots via Twitter