These are trying times in America, particularly for parents tasked with explaining recent events—including the fallout from George Floyd’s senseless death—to their children. Former New York Giant Victor Cruz admitted it’s been difficult putting the Floyd protests and resulting violence into the proper context for his eight-year-old daughter, Kennedy. Hard as it may be to convey this portrait of a broken America to an innocent child, the seven-year NFL vet knows it’s the responsibility of parents to initiate these difficult conversations.
“I have to explain who you are, you’re a young black queen, and why there are going to be some people out there who don’t like you solely because of who you are and the color of your skin and where you come from,” Cruz told E! Network’s Nina Parker Tuesday on Daily Pop. “She’s a little confused, but she understands. I can tell that she understands and I can tell that she’s trying to make sense of it all. And I’m just happy that I can be there to guide her through something like this.”
As bad as it’s been over the past week with tensions and violence escalating in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, Cruz is hoping some good will come from the recent demonstrations. “I’m optimistic right now because I feel like, of all the other times this has happened, this is the first time that it’s reached a global scale and people are upset about it,” said Cruz. “People are angry and I really feel like this time there will be some changes made.”
The Black Lives Matter movement has gained traction in many of the nation’s most populated areas including New York, where rampant looting and rioting have forced city officials to enact an unprecedented 8 PM curfew. One of Cruz’s close friends, Ronnie Fieg, owner and operator of Manhattan-based retail chain Kith, has experienced the looting firsthand. When Cruz asked Fieg his thoughts on the damage done to his store, his response caught the former wide receiver by surprise.
“I was like, ‘Yo, how do you feel about your store getting looted?’ It happened twice, actually the past two days,” said Cruz, recalling his hour-long phone call with Fieg. “‘It’s cool man, America needs to burn a little bit. If it’s going to cause a little change, I’m cool. We’ll get everything back. I’m not worried about materialistic things at this moment.’”
2020 has been a challenging year in our country’s history, but Cruz thinks that if we “weed out the bad apples” in our police and judicial systems, our current fractured America may someday rise from the ashes. “That’s the only way we’re going to see a true difference,” Cruz said, urging the United States to learn from its mistakes. “As long as we begin the process of getting that out, weeding out the bad apples, so to speak, then we’ll be in a good place.”