I had the pleasure of attending Cause For Celebration at The Build-A-Bear Workshop hosted by New York Giants players Michael Clayton and Aaron Ross. The event, to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, featured New York Giants Brandon Jacobs, Ramses Barden, and Kevin Boothe, former NBA player and current Golden State Warriors scout Speedy Claxton, Basketball Wives Season Three Personality Meka Claxton. The event was put together in honor of the children and families of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who have reached a milestone in their treatment.
I had the opportunity to talk to New York Giants wide receiver Michael Clayton briefly in between him hosting the event, signing autographs, and taking pictures with the many children who attended the event. “This is my purpose, giving back,” Clayton said, who started his organization, Michael Clayton Generation Next Foundation, a non-profit organization aiding local charities around Tampa Bay, in 2004. Clayton said one of his many inspirations for hosting events like these is “the smiles that these kids get.” When I asked about his faith and what it means to him, Clayton exclaimed “My faith is everything. My faith is my mentality. My faith is my motivation. I’m a Warrior for Jesus Christ.” When I spoke with his wife, Tina Clayton, she said giving back to the community “is the motto of our family.”
Speedy and Meka Claxton were also in attendance. When I asked them what inspired them to attend the event, Meka responded “St. Judes is one of our favorite charities.” Meka also talked to me about her line of accessories for little girls called Privileged Girls. It’s the first and only lifestyle brand exclusively for little girls ages 2-10. Her husband Speedy talked about one day getting into the sports talk world. He also had some positive words to say about the first-year Warriors coach Mark Jackson. “I think he’s a good coach. He preaches defense and he’ll be good for us.”
Giants cornerback Aaron Ross attended the event in support of his teammate Clayton. “Michael Clayton is a leader in the locker room and the community. I feel responsible to show support.” When I asked Giants wide receiver Ramses Barden what emotions he felt when he sees the children from St. Judes, he said it’s “tough to watch anyone struggle, especially children” but also noted that it was “nice to see then in this element.” Giants offensive lineman Kevin Boothe agreed. “It’s tough. It puts everything in perspective. We play football and we think that’s important. They’re our heroes.” When I asked the two players about a potential hangover after the dramatic 37-34 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, Barden responded “I don’t think it’s much of a hangover.” Boothe had simliar thoughts. “I don’t think so, especially with the opportunity in front of us.” When I asked him if the tough loss to the Green Bay Packers gave them more confidence, he said no, but noted “maybe we needed that reassurance.”
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