In a post on Twitter Wednesday morning, Eddie Steele said his car was broken into Tuesday night in south Edmonton. The thief got away with Steele’s 2015 Grey Cup ring, which the football player said was locked in the glove compartment.
“Please, please spread the word and if anyone can help I’d really appreciate it!” he said.
Steele is in the process of moving. He and his family just took possession of their home. He said he typically keeps the ring in his office, but thought it would be safe for one night locked in the glove compartment of his car. Because the garage is full of moving boxes, he parked his car on the driveway for the night.
“I just wasn’t thinking that someone — within the 24-hour period that the ring was in my glove (box) — that someone would take advantage and steal it, let alone in the driveway of our brand new house that we just bought.”
Steele said he noticed the ring and a few other possessions were gone when he went to drive his son to school Wednesday morning.
“It was a ‘welcome to the neighbourhood’ moment. It’s unfortunate just because normally we park in the garage, but due to the fact that we have our possessions there because we’re organizing because we just took possession, I had to park in the driveway and someone got us,” he told Global News.
“It was a mixture of emotions: frustrated, sad, upset, kind of panicked, that violated feeling that someone went through your possessions. You just wish that you saw someone walking away holding your ring so I could chase him down and get it back.
“It was a childhood dream of mine to grow up and play pro football and to win a championship and I got to accomplish that. To have that ring taken from me, it really hurts.”
Steele’s social media post has garnered a lot of attention since it was shared just after 8 a.m.
It even caught the attention of Elks president and CEO Victor Cui, who replied and said he would buy Steele a new replacement ring.
“It’s unfortunate that these are the kind of things that happen in our world, but they happen,” Cui told Global News.
“It was one of the first things I saw this morning and I thought, ‘Geeze, that sucks.’ And I hope that he finds it. But if he doesn’t, I’m going to make sure that he gets a replacement.
“I didn’t even think about it. I saw it and I just go: I have this privileged position as a president and CEO of the Edmonton Elks. We are a community-owned team, we have a responsibility to lead our community in the values that represent our team.”
Cui said for Elks alumni, the ring is about much more than the dollar value attached to it; it’s about what the ring represents.
“It is a big, gigantic ring filled with a bunch of shiny stuff. I have no idea what the cost is but I do know what that ring represents… That represents hard work, humility, dedication, commitment — all of those values of the Edmonton Elks way.”
The CEO said he was happy to see how much support the tweet received, adding it showcases the care and compassion people have in the city.
“It really speaks to Edmontonians and who we are as a city in that this is really a city where people go out of their way to care about other people,” Cui said.
“The Edmonton Elks is a community-owned team and as president and CEO, we have an opportunity to take a leadership role in the city and always represent the values that make our city and this team great. And that means we look after each other. Once an Edmonton Elk, always an Edmonton Elk.”
Steele said Cui’s gesture shows just how much of a class-act human being he is. The pair has never formally met, but Steele said it meant a lot to have Cui reach out to him.
“He’s such a good man and he’s just doing wonders for the club, doing wonders for the overall organization and the city.”
Steele said he filed a report with the Edmonton Police Service. He also had the following message for the thief:
“If there is a person out there who has the ring, all I want you to know is I forgive you. I’m not upset at you. I just want you to know I forgive you and I would love to get my ring back. Leave it at a police station, have someone try and contact me. It’s pretty easy with social media.”
The Winnipeg native retired from the Canadian Football League in 2019 after nine seasons.
In those nine years, he played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and four seasons with the green and gold. He won a Grey Cup with Edmonton in 2015.