Wanting to help his local community in Texas, Washington Redskins tackle Ty Nsekhe has donated tickets to those impacted by July's shooting in Dallas.
Washington Redskins tackle Ty Nsekhe was back home in his native Texas, spending the last few days of his offseason in early July when he turned on the television to horrifying news.
Just minutes from his house, a shooting was unfolding after a peaceful protest that took the lives of five Dallas police officers and wounded several others.
"It was hard to watch. It was unreal," Nsekhe said. "I was looking at the TV and was like, 'That's really happening in my backyard.' It was very surreal and very hard to watch."
While Nsekhe ultimately headed back to Virginia to begin training camp and then the season, the 31-year-old knew that he wanted to do something for those impacted by the tragedy.
So with the help of one of his friends – Adrian Jackson – Nsekhe got in touch with the Dallas Police Department and informed them he would be paying for tickets to the Redskins-Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day for officers through the Officer Down Foundation, empowered by the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas to help fallen first responders in times of need.
"I'm just trying to do whatever I can for my community," Nsekhe said. "I'm from here and its Thanksgiving. It's a great holiday event that I'm trying to put together and I just feel like for the officers and their families, for the tragic events that happened, I just feel grief and want to shine some light during the holiday season to them."
Once the team got to their hotel in Texas on Wednesday, Neskhe met with the officers and their families.
One of the officers Neskhe met was Officer Willie Ford, who was thankful for nor only the tackle's donation, but his recognition for their work as well.
"First of all, we're really appreciative of him recognizing the officers and what we've gone through within the last couple of months," Ford said. "So it's a big deal to us. But just to recognize us – and that's somebody that's not here in Dallas – that's a big deal for us. Plus, it gives us enough time to go to the game and just kind of relax and kind of decompress. So it's something that we look forward to doing and we're appreciative of it and understand, I'm not sure what else we can say other than we appreciate him and we look forward to being at the game."
Added Officer Ivan Saldena : "We're so grateful, we're so amazed that he does something like this from his own personal idea. We're so grateful to be able to go to the game. That's awesome."
While Ford is a member of the Dallas Police force, he's a diehard Redskins fan through and through. So seeing his favorite team play alongside his fellow officers and their families will be a special moment.
"It's kind of hard being a Dallas officer and a Redskins fan at the same time, but I love it," Ford said. "I'm proud to be a Dallas police officer. Again, we've been through a lot the last six months. This is something because the gesture itself – just talking to us and recognizing us – is a significant deal for us in the department. I'm just one representative for the department, so I'm just speaking as a Dallas police officer which I'm proud to be. But I'm also speaking as a person that wants to say thank you to the Washington Redskins and to Ty for what he's done. It's a big deal for us."
"It's a wonderful feeling," Nsekhe said after meeting with the families. "It brought joy to me."