The sports world was dealt a big blow just days ago when it learned that a promising St. Louis eighth grade football player was shot and killed.
Jaylon McKenzie was struck by a stray bullet while leaving a party in Venice, Illinois last weekend, leaving his family and friends grieving the unexpected death. While nothing will ever bring back Jaylon, who Sports Illustrated named one of America’s six future stars in different sports, his family reportedly not have to pay for his funeral expenses.
According to NFL.com, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who has ties to McKenzie’s hometown, will reportedly cover the young man’s post-death expenses. It’s a gesture that has Jaylon’s family praising the star NFL player.
"For him to reach out to me was unbelievable," McKenzie's mother, Sukeena Gunner, told the Star-Telegram. "Jaylen loved Ezekiel Elliott. He talked about him all the time. When Ezekiel was playing, he would sit in front of the TV. His eyes were glued to the TV, watching him. Just for him to reach out to me and help me in this difficult time leaves me speechless."
14-years old.— Justin Andrews (@Justin_EAndrews) May 5, 2019
Rising football star.
Already recruited to Mizzou and University of Illinois D1 football teams.
Jaylon McKenzie was shot and killed.
This young man was robbed of his life! 😡😠
MORE: https://t.co/p6Iv0dSgom pic.twitter.com/3cVExANqDc
Jaylon McKenzie played running back, receiver and defensive back at Mason-Clarke Middle School in East St. Louis. Ezekiel Elliott played his high school ball at John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb and went on to play college football at Ohio State.
Zeke, you’re a great man for this amazing gesture. Our thoughts are with Jaylon McKenzie’s family and friends during this most difficult time.
Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images