NFL Star George Karlaftis Grand Marshal of Greek Independence Day Parade in New York City


NFL star George Karlaftis attended the Greek Independence Day Parade on Sunday, April 14 in New York City as one of the Grand Marshals of the annual event.

The Kansas City Chiefs defensive end stood proudly next to Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and other dignitaries adding that he felt very proud on the occasion of Greek Independence Day.

The Greek Independence Day Parade takes place annually in the United States along Fifth Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City. The parade is held in April in honour of the Anniversary of the Greek Declaration of Independence from the Ottoman Empire on March 25, 1821, and the Greek War of Independence and attracts many Greek Americans from the Tri-State area and is the celebration of Greek heritage, Greek culture and Greek achievements in the world.

The first Greek Independence Day Parade was held in 1938, and has since become a New York City annual event, sponsored by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York.

About George Karlaftis:

George Matthew Karlaftis III  is a Greek professional American football defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He was born in Athens and grew up as a multi-sport athlete playing football, track and field, basketball, and water polo, the latter of which he played with the Greek national team.

Karlaftis and his family moved to the United States when he was 13. He played college football at Purdue, where he won all-Big Ten honors before being selected by the Chiefs in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. In his debut season, Karlaftis was part of the Chiefs winning Super Bowl LVII roster and was a regular starter. In his second season, he was a key contributor in Kansas City’s Super Bowl LVIII win.

Karlaftis was born in Athens, Greece. His father Μathiós "Matthew" Karlaftis grew up as an all-around athlete in Greece and later earned a degree in civil engineering at the University of Miami before pursuing a doctorate at Purdue University. His mother Amy, who had grown up near Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana, met Matthew while she was a freshman. After marrying, they settled in Athens. While Amy spoke English to the couple's four children at home, they were otherwise brought up in Greek culture.

In his early years in Athens, he played water polo as a goalkeeper in the youth ranks of Panathinaikos, the Greek team of which he is also an avid supporter.

Matthew died of a heart attack in 2014 while on the island of Kos where he was to deliver a speech at an engineering conference there. Following his death, Amy and her children moved back to West Lafayette, where George Karlaftis began attending West Lafayette High School. He was enlisted in the school's football team and had 41 sacks during his high school career. He also competed in track and field for the school, including winning back-to-back state championships in shot put. He played in the 2019 U.S. Army All-American Game, where he was named the Defensive Player of the Year. He graduated early from high school and enrolled at Purdue in January 2019.
Karlaftis was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round (30th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft. Karlaftis ended his rookie season with 33 tackles, six sacks, two fumble recoveries, and seven passes defensed. The Chiefs reached Super Bowl LVII, where they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38–35, with Karlaftis recording two tackles in the game. Karlaftis's second season ended with 47 tackles, 10.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and three passes defensed. Karlaftis helped the Chiefs reach Super Bowl LVIII where they defeated the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 to win their second straight championship. In the Super Bowl Karlaftis recorded five tackles, 0.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
(Source: Wikipedia)
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