Just days after his release from serving a two-year prison sentence, former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress spoke publicly for the first time on Monday pledging to join the fight to end gun violence.
Burress makes his announcement after serving prison time for weapons charges when he shot himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub in 2008 and pled guilty to the charges.
At a press conference held at the National Urban League headquarters in Lower Manhattan, Burress was joined by Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial. Burress announced that he’s partnering with the Urban League Celebrity Empowerment Challenge and will volunteer time to help with youth anti-violence programs.
NFL coach Tony Dungee and Brady Center President Paul Helmke stood at Burress’ side in support of the now free agent athelete. NBA star Magic Johnson is also supporting Buress but was not a Monday’s press conference.
“I want to see every child have a chance to succeed,” Burress said. “I have an opportunity to make a difference, and the National Urban League is on the front lines, creating opportunities.”
Morial said that Burress’ work will have an impact on youth and that he’s pleased with helping him. Morial also announced that Burress is the first celebrity to be part of the Celebrity Empowerment Challenge and that the Urban League plans to reach out to other celebrities to partner with the 101-year-old organzation.
“Plaxico Burress is one of the nation’s most prominent examples of the power of opportunity,” said Morial. “As he embarks on a new chapter in his life, he’s admirably decided to put public service at the forefront and I’m proud that he’s chosen to direct his energy to the National Urban League.”