Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Giants players 'nervous' after deadly NJ mall carjacking

There probably wasn't a New York Giants  player who hasn't seen the news on the senseless New Jersey mall shooting where a 30-year-old man lost his life during a parking lot carjacking. The still-at-large suspects took a couple's gray Range Rover after an alleged struggle right outside the upscale Short Hills mall.

After all — big contracts for big athletes usually come with big luxury cars.

The story hit home for Justin Pugh — literally. The offensive lineman realizes that could have been him or anybody with a desirable car in what is generally assumed to be a safe place, writes

“It’s one of the nicest malls in the country. It was somebody driving the same car that I have,” Pugh said while attending The Seventh Annual Giants’ Players Toy and Book Drive at Westfield Garden State Plaza. “So it kind of makes you a little bit nervous, but you can’t live in a bubble. You have to go out and live life.

“If something happens, I’ll give him my car. I’ll give him whatever he wants. I’m not arguing whatsoever. It’s a scary thing.”

To put the tragic story behind him, Pugh and some of his Giants teammates sloshed through inclement weather on Tuesday night and tried to put smiles on the faces of children in need. 

They collected toys and signed autographs, but also had a security team to escort them throughout the mall and make sure the event ran smoothly.

For Justin Tuck, he knows there are dangers that come with a being a high-profile public figure — no matter how large and intimidating. It's all in a day in the life of a professional athlete in a big market. But he's not willing to let ignorant individuals affect the way he lives.

"For us, we just continue to give people something to smile about. It is the only way we know how to combat that type of evil," Tuck said. "That is one of the reasons we continue to do [the toy and book drive]."

And the Giants players won't let the murder stop them from helping the less fortunate during the holidays.

"You can't allow ignorant people in this world to affect how you live," Tuck said. "If you're going to live in fear, you might as well not live. Obviously what happened is horrible. You just have to continue to press on.

"We're coming out just trying to put smiles on kids' faces."

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