NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Former Giants star Plaxico Burress will work with the National Urban League and Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence after spending nearly two years in prison on a weapon possession charge.
The 33-year-old receiver said Monday he would be mentored by Magic Johnson and Tony Dungy through the Brady Center. He’ll volunteer with Urban League youth programs and recruit other pro athletes.
“I want to see every child have a chance to succeed,” Burress said , speaking at the Urban League headquarters on Wall Street. “I have an opportunity to make a difference.”
Referring to guns, Burress said: “My voice here today is that they don’t help anybody.”
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“I am very excited to see Plaxico Burress becoming involved with community service and mentoring,” said Dungy. “I really believe he is going to have a positive impact on many people, but especially our young people, as he focuses his efforts on helping them examine their decision making and reducing gun violence.
“I look forward to helping him and his family in any way I can.”
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Burress said he would tell other players: “If you’re going to carry a weapon, make sure you’ve done everything properly, that you’re obeying all the laws or the rules of that state, and you know fully how to operate the weapon if you choose to carry one.”
Burress caught the winning touchdown in the 2008 Super Bowl for New York. Nine months later, his unlicensed handgun accidentally went off in a Manhattan nightclub, striking his thigh.
“We’re eager to work with Plaxico as he speaks to audiences young and old … to help prevent gun violence,” Paul Helmke, Brady Center president, said. “He has learned directly, and painfully, about the risks of gun ownership, and understands that he has an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children, athletes, and the entire sports community.”
“I’m eager and excited about the next step, not knowing where it will be,” he said. “I’m dedicated to change and just being a better person.”
Dungy recalled that at the first meeting of every training camp, he would ask how many players owned weapons. As many as 90 percent would raise their hands.
“That’s the society we live in,” he said. “They feel they have to get a gun to protect themselves or because everyone else is doing it. That doesn’t need to be the situation.”
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