PHOENIX – When his high school coach reached out for a jersey donation, Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez was on board. Soon, however, he decided it wasn’t enough.
As he watched the COVID-19 pandemic affect families financially in his hometown of Deer Park, Texas, Gonzalez, a former standout at Arizona State, decided to provide scholarships for four young athletes.
“Just something to help and with everything going on. It’s the least I could do,” Gonzalez told Cronkite News Thursday. “I remember growing up as a kid. I struggled as well making ends meet. It kind of hit home a little bit.”
Unemployment hit 14.7 percent in April, a post-World War II record, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February it was as low as 3.5 percent. June posted a 11.1 percent figure.
All four young athletes play soccer, the sport Gonzalez said he loved the most growing up.
He understands the struggle many parents are facing. During a part of his high school years, he lived in a one-bedroom apartment with his three siblings.
“I mean, it’s just one of those things where they’re happy to see their kids happy playing the sport they love, and seeing the kids happy, makes everybody happy,” Gonzalez said.