DENVER — It wasn’t just Tim Patrick who made the 3.1 mile walk in the second annual March for Peace event Saturday morning, but his dog El Chapo made it, too.
Patrick was one of 16 to 18 Broncos players who participated in the marched that was organized by teenagers Nashara and Naja’Ray and supported by Broncos safety Justin Simmons and the team-funded Boys & Girls Club of Denver.
"It was something that’s important to me, coming from the inner community," Patrick said. "Just trying to preach safety. Walk with peace. There’s no reason why we should be losing people’s life over things we can stop from happening. It was a good turnout and it’s been a blast."
On a perfect day for walking – upper 50s with sunshine and little wind -- there were an estimated 200 people who took part in the brisk stroll around the Montbello neighborhood. Among the Broncos players who participated: McTelvin Agim, Jonas Griffith, Jonathan Harris, D.J. Jones, P.J. Locke, Quinn Meinerz, Netane Muti, Mike Purcell, Brett Rypien, Pat Surtain II, Courtland Sutton, Patrick, Simmons and others.
"I just want to say, 'Thank you,' to the guys and coaches," Simmons said. "We just had work yesterday. To wake up early on a Saturday and come out here and support what Nashara and Ray’Ray have going on, I can’t say enough good things about those guys. I really appreciate them for coming out.”
It seemed to be a nice team-bonding moment.
"We’re here just trying to create some impact today," Rypien said. "It’s the March for Social Justice. I know J-Simms has been doing a lot of work with the Boys & Girls Club out here and I’m just excited to be a part of it and help out any way I can. It’s great to make an impact for the kids here today."
Broncos coaches who participated included the boss, Nathaniel Hackett, plus defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, offensive line coach Butch Barry and secondary coach Christian Parker.
"It’s an amazing cause for the world and kids being able to put this together and support kids in the community, everyone," Hackett said. "It’s awesome."
General manager George Paton was there as well as team executives Patrick Smyth, Mac Freeman, Ray Jackson, Jay Roberts, Brittany Bowlen and Allie Engelken.
"Enjoying the day," said Paton before he had to hustle back to team headquarters for the home-stretch round of draft meetings. "Here with Justin Simmons and the Boys & Girls Club, here with Allie. It’s a great event. Second time being here and it’s outstanding. All the people here, all the players, all the great kids, the community, it’s awesome."
Simmons repeatedly deflected all credit to Nashara and Naja’Ray for organizing the march, but it was his clout that got so many Broncos involved.
"I love my sport and I love doing what I get to do but this is the best part about it," Simmons said. "I have a select audience I want to follow what I do. And this is what I love to do."
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