NEW ORLEANS — In the eyes of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, the children who attended Kids Day at the NFL Experience represent the hope of the city.
“You’re the future of New Orleans and Louisiana,” Benson said Wednesday. “We need you not to stay as you are today, but to grow up and say, ‘I’m in New Orleans, Louisiana, and we’re going to make this state and this city, greater than ever.’ That’s what we’re all going to do together.
“The New Orleans Saints support Play 60 with a tremendous amount of energy and passion. So do our players.”
Benson was joined at the event by two current Saints players, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and tight end Jimmy Graham, who spoke with the students about the importance of being physically active for at least 60 minutes every day — the NFL’s Play 60 Challenge.
“It really promotes the kids to get up and active and have fun,” Hicks said. “You don’t have to play football all the time to be active. You can do anything. You can dance, go swimming, as long as you’re getting up and being active. That’s what we’re promoting here today.”
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, one-third of American children in adolescence are obese or overweight.
“That is a serious problem that we have, and you guys can change that by being active for 60 minutes a day,” Graham said to the students. “There are 1,440 minutes in a day, and the New Orleans Saints, we only want 60 of those minutes. I hope you pledge to us 60 of the 1,440 minutes so that we all can be active, healthy and grow big and strong.”
– Matt Florjancic, ClevelandBrowns.com Staff Writer