Steelers’ William Gay lost his mother to domestic violence, supports Verizon’s HopeLine

NFL player William Gay of the Pittsburgh Steelers was only 7 years old when his stepfather shot and killed his mother. In the video above, Gay shares his personal experience with domestic violence.

Gay and ​award-winning actress Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”) joined Verizon’s HopeLine program to take action against domestic violence. Together, they announced their goal to collect one million phones this year to support victims of domestic violence.​

As a child, Gay lived with his mother and brother in a Tallahassee, Florida, housing project. His mother eventually married. Gay did not have knowledge of any trouble in his mother’s marriage, but on March 14, 1992, William’s mom and stepfather had an argument that resulted in his stepfather shooting his mother three times, killing her. The stepfather later took his own life.

?NEW YORK, April 29, 2015 - ?Professional football player William Gay joined Verizon’s HopeLine program today to take action against domestic violence. Together they announced a goal of collecting 1 million phones ?by the end of ?this year to su
Insider Images/Andrew Kelly (UNITED STATES)


After the tragedy, Gay became angry and rebellious, and was saved by the loving care of his grandmother and bold intervention of his uncle. He turned his life around and years later found himself at the Super Bowl, wishing his mother could be there — smiling from the stands. Realizing he wanted to do something to honor his mother’s memory, he began dedicating his free time to raising awareness about domestic violence.

Take action against domestic violence by …

  • Drop off a phone – visit any Verizon store to donate no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries, chargers and accessories from any service provider to support domestic violence prevention and awareness organizations.
  • Visit com/about/hopeline to learn more.

Visit​ to learn more.

Yvette Caslin
Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.

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