As police investigate the break-in of New York Giants fullback Nikita Whitlock’s home earlier this week as a hate crime, his teammate Victor Cruz says the racist vandalism reflects the current divided political state of the U.S.
Burglars drew a swastika and wrote “KKK,” “Trump” and “Go back to Africa,” on the walls inside Whitlock’s home in Moonachie, New Jersey, on Tuesday night, The Record reported, and Cruz was asked about it by reporters in the Giants locker room Thursday.
“I think it’s definitely a direct reflection of how this country is being run and how this country is reacting maybe to some of the decisions and some of the ways that this country is being run and the things that are being said by the people at [the] helm of this country and at the helm of our day-to-day lives,” Cruz said, according to ESPN.
“From social media all the way up to the White House, these are things that are being spoken of and talked about on a daily basis, the good and the bad — more so the bad at this point right now because that’s all we have to work with. It’s just an unfortunate situation that we’re going through right now,” the veteran wide receiver and Super Bowl champion continued.
When asked by reporters if the actions of the burglars reflects the mindset of Donald Trump supporters, he responded: “Absolutely.”
“I think there’s a specific mindset that comes with supporting a guy like Donald Trump and supporting what he stands for, and there’s a certain type of person that comes with that. I’m not sure that person is always a positive-minded person, if you know what I mean,” the Pro-Bowler and New Jersey-native added. “You’ve just got to be careful.”
“As [a] minority, you have to be careful, as a person of influence you have to be careful and you’ve just got to make sure your family is safe and give them the knowledge that they need to stay safe in this world.”
However, Cruz made it clear that he doesn’t think all Trump supporters are racist, saying some likely just wanted change while others wanted a businessman in charge of the country, ESPN reported.
“You can’t think of anything that that person that follows Donald Trump — that they’re going to do something positive,” he said. “And for someone to vandalize someone’s house and write Trump’s name or whatever they wrote on the walls, it’s just proving that exact fact that I’m saying — that people that may follow him aren’t necessarily the most positive people in our community.”
According to WCBS, Whitlock had to drape a blanket over the swastika to protect his 6-year-old son from the racist vandalism. “It’s about to be 2017,” he said. “Oppression, racism, hatred, violence — there’s no need for that.”
Valuable items were taken including jewelry, although items like computers were left behind. This is the second time Whitlock’s home has been burglarized in a matter of weeks, and the fullback says there’s no way this was a 10-minute break-in.
“I’m sad. More for them though to have that level of hate. For someone to break into a house and draw something on the wall, it makes no sense to me,” Whitlock said.
The Giants next face the Cowboys on Sunday.