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Shaquille Leonard gives away turkeys hours after release from Colts

Colts waived linebacker Tuesday after six seasons and three Pro Bowl appearances
Shaquille Leonard Thanksgiving turkeys.jpg
Posted at 11:13 PM, Nov 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-21 23:13:22-05

Shaquille Leonard is no longer an Indianapolis Colt, but that did not slow down his service to Indianapolis residents in need this holiday season.

Leonard gave away hundreds of Thanksgiving turkey dinners at Chapel Rock Christian Church Tuesday evening, mere hours after the Colts surprisingly waived him with seven games left in the season.

"My heart has always been big, no matter the circumstances," Leonard said. "A lot of people could hide in the closet, I'm going to stay on the front porch and just be me."

Several now-former Colts teammates including Kenny Moore and Grover Stewart joined Leonard for the giveaway, which was planned before Leonard's release.

Cars circled the church for the turkeys, but some drivers did not expect Leonard himself to hand out the turkeys so soon after the Colts cut him.

"He's a good, good man," said Larry Oxford, who received a turkey from Leonard. "This is great for us."

Leonard and his Maniac Foundation are well-known for charity in Indiana. The Colts nominated Leonard for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award last year, which recognizes an NFL player for excellence in off-the-field accomplishments.

Leonard said this giveaway reminded him of why he loved playing for the Colts.

"People in Indianapolis, they love me for who I am, what I do on the field, and for what I do in the community," Leonard said.

However, he is slowly coming to terms that this Thanksgiving will be his last in Indianapolis.

"I got fired on my day off," Leonard said. "I feel like Craig [from the movie Friday], man."