In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Brad Richards, in the NY Post made his reasons for helping out in the relief effort clear
“I’m part of New York now. I know a lot of people who were affected by the storm, so whatever I can do, and whatever players in the area can do, we’re going to do what we can. We’re not playing, but we feel a sense of responsibility to our communities. It’s a privilege to be in this position, really.”
Richards told Katie Strang at ESPN NY, “Being part of the community makes you a part of everyday life,”
Matt Long, who Richards contacted to help out in Breezy Point, said that NY isn’t just a stop along the way for Richards, “We talked about living in New York and how much he loves it and wants to stay here after his playing days are over.
Richards told the NY Times, “I love being in New York, and I love the whole area. And to be able to help out, that’s just perfect.”
Police offer Steven Rose told Strang, “He’s just a regular guy and he’s assimilated to New York incredibly. He’s really embraced the idea of being a New Yorker.”
At ESPN.com, Katie Strang wrote an article about Brad Richards and how throughout his career he has always been as big of a star off the ice as much as he has been on the ice.
An employee of the Lightning told “If there was a kid in the Tampa Bay area that was diagnosed with cancer, he knew their family. It was unbelievable.”
Holly Wade, whose son Daniel had a brain tumor, spoke glowingly of Richards “Hockey players can get a bad rap. People say, ‘Oh, they’re all 5-8, missing their front teeth and all they do is fight,’ but Brad was by far the most genuine, warm and caring individual that I’ve ever come across in any professional athlete.”
Wade’s son Daniel had a brain tumor but Richards was insistent on him coming to a game, which he did against the Flyers in the playoffs, and Wade has stayed in touch with Richards even after Daniel passed away in 2006.
In December of 2oo5, Wade told the SP Times, “He’s one of the warmest, most caring people I’ve ever met. I’d adopt him in a heartbeat.”
A friend of Richards’ from Tampa told Joe O’Neill ““Richy’s got everything under the sun; he’s incredibly blessed. But there’s not one ounce of ego. A great guy who really does care about others.””
More on Richards and his suite from Tampa Bay, HERE and HERE.
Antoinette Figueroa sends in this story of when the Rangers were in Staten Island a few weeks ago.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy all I can do is sit in my house on Staten Island and think about the devastation that so many face and how I can give back to my community. I started by donating to the local charities and going to the hardest hit areas to deliver bottles and bottles of water to the people who have nothing. I decided to start raising money on my own so that I could feed those people and after tweeting to some of the Rangers players and writers I started to receive anonymous donations which in my heart I believe came from them.
With the donations I received I was able to set up a huge barbeque right in the middle of the hardest hit areas and at the very least provide a hot meal. I then saw that Brad Richards had organized a hockey clinic for kids around the corner from my house. I saw later on that Richards sent out a tweet about bartending at a bar in my old neighborhood. I jumped in the car and when I got there I expected to see Richards in a suit, leaving and not getting a chance to thank him for the great work he was doing. What I found though was the complete opposite! I walked in and saw Gabby, Hags and Emmy behind the bar pouring drinks. Eminger was pouring one for my dad but he didn’t know what he was doing so he just gave him a beer!
As I made my way through a tent I hear cheers for “Cally” and to my utter amusement it was actually Ryan Callahan. He was yelling “Cally” to my dad who was wearing his jersey! I can’t even describe the atmosphere as Richards, Cally and Girardi seemed like regular guys in a regular bar on a Friday night.
They were hard to get close to, as the place was packed, but once you could they were willing to chat, take pictures and just be real. At one point Cally started his own “asshole” chant to a women that walked in wearing a Devils jersey. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing! All those angry anti-lockout feelings immediately disappeared and I truly realized what special people hockey players really are! This was the Rangers players as real as it gets and they were helping people out of the goodness of their heart. I heard that they raised $30,000 that night and because of that, hockey or no hockey, they will always have my utmost respect.
“Brad just kind of sets these things up and gets it done, but he doesn’t do it so we can get the recognition — he does it because it’s the right thing to do. We’ve just kind of followed him in that respect, and we’re happy. He’s a big-time person in our town, with all the things he’s done for the fans and for the community, but he doesn’t want recognition for it.”
Read more on Brad Richards and charity work.
In the time shortly after Hurricane Sandy, Brad Richards organized a hockey clinic on Staten Island that raised $14,000 and saw his teammates Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Jeff Halpern, Taylor Pyatt, Steve Eminger, Carl Hagelin and Brian Boyle help out.
When asked about why the players decided to get involved with the recovery for Hurricane Sandy, Brad Richards said, Captain Ryan Callahan told SILive, “For us to come here and put some smiles on some people’s faces and raise some money, we’re happy to do it and glad we can.”
Richards added that this was a very easy thing to get involved, “We’re a tight-knit group. We live in a community and play in front of great fans and live in a great city, so it’s not too hard to make that decision to come out and do something like this.”
In the NY Times, Jeff Klein writes about Brad Richards and how the big role that he had taken in the community following Hurricane Sandy validates the Rangers faith in bringing in Richards to be a leader on and off the ice.
Richards reached out to Matt Long, who lost his house in the Hurricane, and went out to Breezy Point with Steve Eminger and Marian Gaborik gutting flood damaged houses with a crowbar and sledgehammer.
Richards told Long that he wanted no recognition for his work, saying “If someone knows who I am and I bring a smile to their face, great. If not, I’d rather make them smile just helping people.”
Richards said that the work he is doing is what anyone in his position would do.
In his 30 Thoughts Column this week, Elliotte Friedman said that if the NHL has a season and an awards ceremony, Brad Richards may have already locked up the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.
The award is “given to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
Adam Graves won the award in 1994.
Just in the past couple of weeks, Richards has organized a hockey clinic in Staten Island, along with Scott Hartnell organized a charity game this Saturday, and was helping out in Breezy Point.
The clinic in Staten Island raised over $14,000.
This section focuses on Richards and how good of a person he is.