At the young age of 22, just out of his first year as running back for The New York Giants, he was First-Team All-Pro, Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Year, NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year, Best Breakthrough Athlete at the ESPYS, PFWA All-Rookie Team, Pro Bowl and his stats reflect every award he received. With 290 rushing attempts, 12 Rushing touchdowns, 98 receptions, 768 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns in the first year and up to game 2 in 2019. Barkley, the face of The New York Giants is anticipated to help the Giants bounce back from a 5-11 season in 2018.
But behind the scenes of being an NFL all-star, there is a different story to Barkley. A father, partner, son, role friend to all. He has made Covenant House New Jersey his charity of choice.
We sat alongside his mother Tonya Johnson and his father Alibay Barkley in a back room of the Met Life Stadium waiting for Saquon to get out of the locker room post interviews. It was after their last home game of the season where the Cowboys won in the final few minutes, myself and 3 youth from Covenant House New Jersey waited anxiously to meet the football player who wasn’t much older than they were.
Barkley made the decision to host three of our youth for every home game and do a meet and greet with them afterward.
Appearing out of the locker room with cameras and reporters following him, Barkley made his way to the private room where he introduced himself to our three youth, signing autographs, taking pictures and giving them Giants gear.
We are so thrilled Barkley has chosen to partner with Covenant House, New Jersey for a second year.
As Covenant House New Jersey fights to help homeless and trafficked youth, we are so grateful for the partnership and someone as influential willing to take a stand against what is such a problem in the U.S and globally. With increased awareness of sex trafficking and how it links to major sporting events, it is more of a conversation than ever.
“Events clearly illustrate that sports has the power to bring people together and change the world…However we can no longer ignore the shadowy side of these events as human trafficking threats,” says ESPN’S, Richard Lapchick.
Barkley has chosen to take a stand against this. Post his 2018 season he took all the youth of CHNJ to a bowling alley in Time Square, providing food, drinks, company, and conversation.