William Gay has been awarded the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2015 Ed Block Courage Award. In a great video on Steelers.com, they highlighted parts of the reception in Gay’s honor.
The Ed Block Foundation’s mission is “dedicated to supporting the well-being of abused, neglected and at-risk children throughout our Courage House National Support Network for Kids,” according to their website.
Gay has been outspoken in his effort to raise awareness over domestic violence. As I’m sure most of you know, his mother was killed in a domestic violence crime when Gay was just eight.
In the video, Mike Tomlin presented the Steelers’ cornerback with the award – and some very sincere words.
“Over the last nine years, I’ve watched this guy grow to the point where, not only is he willing to talk about [his story] in an effort to help others, he’s also willing to use his platform that is the National Football League and playing in it as a means to shine a light on something that needs to be openly talked about.”
Gay graciously accepted the word but made it clear it wasn’t just about him.
“It’s a lot of individuals whose name should be [on the award]. My family for being there for me, different coaches up to this period, just keeping me on the line, preachers, everybody involved. But most importantly, all the women who survived or went through something as far as domestic violence. Standing out and being heroes to everybody in the community.
[The award] is for my mom and it’s for other women who are like her that went through the situation…I do this for the women. I tell everybody, you’re not survivors, you’re heroes.”
Gay has shared his story with the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, which I encourage you to check out at the link here.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, the shelter has a 24 hour hotline. The number you can call is: 412-687-8005.
The national hotline number is: 1-800-799-7233.