The New England Patriots have been generous in the past by allowing their team plane to be used by places and teams in need.
The latest example is ongoing as the AFC East team has allowed its team plane to be used by the University of Virginia so the Cavaliers’ staff and players can attend the funerals of the three players who were killed in a tragic incident after returning from a school trip earlier this month.
The three Cavaliers football players shot and killed were junior receiver Lavel Davis Jr. of Dorchester, South Carolina; junior receiver Devin Chandler of Huntersville, North Carolina; and junior defensive end/linebacker D’Sean Perry of Miami.
The entire Virginia football team will attend the funeral service for D’Sean Perry on Saturday in Miami, the first of three funerals for their deceased teammates.
The team will also be at the memorial service for Devin Chandler on Sunday in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and the celebration of life service for Lavel Davis Jr. on Wednesday in North Charleston, South Carolina. Perry, Chandler, and Davis were shot and killed on a charter bus Nov. 13 after returning home from a class trip. Running back Mike Hollins and a fifth student, Marlee Morgan, were also shot, but survived.
Whether the plane was donated by the Kraft family or chartered was uncertain.
A spokesperson for the Patriots told NBC10 Boston affiliate that he was unsure whether the plane was chartered or donated.
There is a UVA connection between the Cavaliers and the Patriots. Former Patriots star Chris Slade is the current defensive ends coach for the Cavaliers.
Slade was a second-round draft pick (31st overall selection) by the New England Patriots in 1993. During his eight years (1993-2000) with the team, he was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team and was a three-time defensive player of the year.
He served as a team captain and was recognized as a Pro Bowl selection and All-Pro after the 1997 season. Slade was named to the Patriots’ 1990s All-Decade Team.
He played his final professional season (2001) as a Carolina Panther.
During his nine-year professional career, he appeared in a total of 142 games, totaling 664 tackles including 53.5 sacks and an additional 16 tackles for loss. He was a member of the Patriots team that played in Super Bowl XXXI.