Tragedy struck on Saturday when former Saints defensive end Will Smith, 34, was shot and killed in New Orleans. The entire NFL community -- players, coaches, teams and fans included -- have come together to share heartfelt messages for the Smith family and the Saints organization.
Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis, who has played the last three years with the Saints and is a native of New Orleans, shared a message for the city via Instagram on Monday. In it, he discusses what it's like to grow up in New Orleans, and urges the city to come together.
You can read Lewis' post below, via NOLA.com:
"When people ask me where I am from, I am always proud to say New Orleans that 504. But it's sad when tourist starting to believe the area code is 911. I know it's hard for tons of people to survive in this city. When there is not to much to look forward to.
"For example, guns has replace football, basketball and baseball. Funerals have more attendance than schools. Coffins get more bodies than sleeping beds and everyday tears are continuing to pour out. We're are family, we can make a difference. We can not expect the mayor, the city or polices to do it by themselves. It's not possible.
"Listen to the stories from some of your parents, grandparents and older relatives, when they was coming up. They enjoy those times because their hearts was feel with love and it was okay to love one another. Not to make this a race thing because that is not my message but for my African American brothers we have to understand the importance of family. Children need their fathers and mothers. Please let stop subtracting these numbers and adding on to the small amount we have....
"New Orleans it's time we get our city together. Love all and I hope this message can have a special place in each and every one of you'll hearts and mind..... Love Keenan Girod Lewis."