BOSTON (CBS) — Longtime Patriots captain Devin McCourty was honored on Tuesday night as an “Uncornered Champion” for his work with Boston Uncornered, an organization with the mission is getting kids out of gangs and into school. The list of people who were eager to come out and praise McCourty was long.

Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady were just a few of the many people who joined the event to offer praise for the 32-year-old McCourty.

“I know sometimes you wouldn’t think that I’d be looking up to you, because I’m a lot older than you. But the reality is I have,” Brady said. “And I’ve learned more from you than you’ve probably ever learned from me.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who last week promised $1 million in donations toward community organizations in the form of $100,000 monthly donations, announced that the first such donation will be going to Boston Uncornered.

“Seeing the good work you do, which you’ve done continuously. I want you to know that I have the greatest respect for Phyllis, because creating you and Jason and seeing what great teammates you are in so many ways has been one of the thrills of owning the Patriots — being exposed to people like you,” Kraft said. “Seeing a group like Boston Uncornered doing what they’re doing, stuff that someone like myself might not see, but it’s so important for the future of this community. I give you great, great kudos. And I want you to know that our first gift in this area of trying to make the community a little better and doing things in the social justice area, we want to honor you with our first $100,000 gift this month.”

Head coach Bill Belichick said that he will follow McCourty’s lead in holding some important conversations with the Patriots this year.

“It has truly been an honor to coach you — not only for what you have meant for our football team, but to see you become a great and inspirational man. You are the ultimate role model. You have given us great leadership on and off the field since 2010, when we drafted you in the first round. You have started every game you’ve played, and became a captain in your second year. Congratulations for what you have done to improve people’s lives through your work with Boston Uncornered,” Belichick said. “You are a great example of the impact that someone can have with great wisdom, leadership, courage, and passion. Conversations across our country and within our team will help lead to paving the way for a better future. Following your lead and the example of other incredible men on our team, I look forward to increasing my role in this process. Healthy discussion leads to actions, and actions that you have brought to the forefront have resulted in progress.”

The list of Patriots past and present who recorded messages of praise for McCourty included Julian Edelman, James White, Patrick Chung, Kyle Van Noy, Matthew Slater, David Andrews, Duron Harmon, Deatrich Wise, Benjamin Watson, Rex Burkhead, Jerod Mayo, Derek Rivers and of course, twin brother Jason. Team president Jonathan Kraft also recorded a message alongside his father, while director of player personnel Nick Caserio also sent his congratulations.

Edelman: “Dev, Uncornered Champion. Congratulations, bro. Well-deserved. You always do a great job for our team, in the community, in your community. I’m super proud to be one of your teammates.”

Van Noy: “Congratulations, Dev. You’re officially the golden child. You’re the man. Congratulations.”

White: “Congratulations on another huge honor, man. It’s been amazing to see what you’re doing in the community. You’re changing a lot of lives. I know there are a lot of guys in the league like myself who look up to you. So keep it going.

Andrews: “Dev, just want to give you a congratulations on the Boston Uncornered Champion. Such a deserving award, man. I’ve always looked up to you, not only for what you do on the field but more importantly, what you do off it and what you stand for off it. Congrats, can’t think of someone more deserving.”

Chung: “Just want to say congratulations, bro. I mean, you work just as hard off the field as you do on. And I respect that, bro. I really do. So congrats. Suck it up, maybe have a little glass of wine. Enjoy it, man. Congratulations.”

Harmon: “Obviously a lot of people recognize you as a tremendous football player, but over the last decade of just getting to know you, I’ve come to learn that you’re just a tremendous person. How you carry yourself in the community, how you lead, how you are a father — a great father, a great husband. You’re somebody that I look up to and I just want to say thank you for being you. I appreciate our friendship. This honor couldn’t go to a better person. So congratulations on that, and just thank you for being you.”

Watson: “Congratulations on your award. Well-deserved. I know this isn’t why you do it, but it’s always great to be recognized. I know this will propel you even further and allow you to impact many more people for the great causes you’re involved with. So congrats, man. Proud of you.”

Burkhead: “Congrats on the award, man. I couldn’t think of a better person to receive this than you. Not only are you an amazing player but you’re an amazing human being — someone I’m proud to call my teammate. So, congrats buddy.”

Mayo: “Devin, really doesn’t surprise me that you’re getting this award. You’ve been active in the community for a long time. You’re not only a champion on the field, but also off the field. Well-deserved, my brother. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing the next chapter after your career is over. I’m sure you’re going to make an even bigger impact then.”

Caserio: “Devin, just wanted to say congratulations for the work that you’ve done on behalf of Boston Uncornered and the award that you’re receiving this evening. Nobody is more deserving. Nobody does more good for the community than you have. You’re a great role model for all of us, you’re a champion in everything you do, and this is another example. So it’s an honor and a privilege to walk by you side by side each day, and thanks for being the man that you are and what you stand for. Congratulations.”

Jason McCourty: “Congratulations, D-Mac. You continue to inspire me. I continue to try to follow in your footsteps. The work you’ve been able to do in the community has been a blessing. I look forward to continuing to watch the greatness that you exude off the field. Congrats.”

Slater: “My guy! I Just wanted to let you know how proud I am of you. I want to congratulate you on this well-deserved recognition. For the longest time you’ve been a tremendous leader, an inspiration for all of us. And I’m certainly so thankful to have spent the last 10-plus years around you. I’ve grown so much as a man by just watching you and your example. Thank you for leading the way. I know you’ll continue to do great things. I appreciate the man you are. Congratulations.”

Jonathan Kraft: “It’s not just the players in our locker room who look up to you — both for the man you are and the player you are — but you then take that platform and by going out into the community that we live in and setting an example, not just with your words but with the time that you commit and the dollars that you raise. You’re truly an all-around champion. Congratulations.”

After a message of love and support from McCourty’s wife and children, Brady delivered what was the longest message of all the past and present Patriots.

Brady: “Devin, I just wanted to wish you congratulations on Boston’s 2020 Uncornered Champion Award. There certainly could not have been a better recipient or someone that embodies everything that this award means. You’re an incredible man, you’re an incredible teammate, and an incredible friend. I’ve known you for quite a while, and seen you grow from a young man who came in with high expectations, didn’t say much, just wanted to listen to everyone else that was a little bit older than you, and learn from them. And you took everything that those people taught you, and you made even more of it as you grew older to be one of those guys that everyone else looked up to. I know sometimes you wouldn’t think that I’d be looking up to you, because I’m a lot older than you. But the reality is I have. And I’ve learned more from you than you’ve probably ever learned from me. You’re a wonderful man, you mean a lot to me, you mean a lot to our team, and now as you’re growing older into a different role, you’re meaning a lot to others in the community, and you’re using all the wonderful things that pro football has brought you to bring a voice to those who don’t quite have the voice that we have. And you fight for people that can’t often fight for themselves. It’s a very endearing quality about you among many other things, but the way you attack this aspect of your life is the same way that you became an All-Pro and a champion in our great sport. And our great sport means very little compared to what happens in our great communities, and that’s where really, you’re making a difference. I couldn’t be prouder of you. I’m a friend of yours for life. You can always count on me. And I just want to say congratulations. I’m happy other people are seeing the incredible man you are, the incredible man you’ve become, and I know you’re going to continue on with great work, year after year, because that’s who you are. Take care, man. Love ya. And I’m proud of you.”

Boston police officer Jeffrey Lopes spoke specifically to the work McCourty does with Boston Uncornered.

“You have shown all of us that you are an amazing man who is just totally about making the community a better place every single day,” Lopes said. “You have shown people here in New England that you care about more than just sports. You also care about our lives, and how everyone lives every single day. What you’ve shown to the people at Boston Uncornered is that they matter. Despite any challenges, and despite anything that they’ve been through in their lives, that they matter. And that people like you, who are considered famous, also care about them as well.”


Leave a Reply