Athletes Paying Tribute In The Wake of The Pittsburgh Shooting

      In our society today, we seem to be overcome by a large array of tragedies on a daily basis. Just in the past couple months alone, there have been several mass shootings on innocent people, and multiple lives have been lost. However, as human beings, we have a responsibility to respond justly and appropriately in times of tragedy, loss and hurt, so that we may be a supportive foundation for those who are impacted. I truly believe that how individuals choose to respond to a tragedy can really shape the future of Americans being more kind, gracious and loving towards others, despite our differences. It is important that people in our society take action and set forth this example for others, so that perhaps one day we can live in a kinder world in which we are all more compassionate toward each other. A tragedy that has left many distraught is recent Pittsburgh shooting, where 46 year old  Robert Bowers opened fire on a Jewish synagogue killing 11 people and harming many others. In the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting, there have not only been some amazing athletes who have stepped up and demonstrated not only words of support, but fans as well.

      One of these people is Pittsburgh Penguins star, Sidney Crosby. Who made a statement to ABC News from Vancouver, British Columbia, where the team was playing the Canucks at the time.

      “We woke up to the terrible news this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and families affected by what happened this morning,” Crosby said, “Knowing Pittsburgh, I know we’ll stick together and rally around them and be there to support and help in any way we can.”

      A moment of silence was also held before the start of Game 4 of the World Series in Los Angeles, where the Dodgers and Red Sox were set to play. There was also another moment of silence that was observed before the Panthers’ game against Duke at Heinz Field, a moment of silence was observed before the singing of the national anthem. There is no doubt that the recent tragedy that took place in Pittsburgh is in the hearts of these athletes, as well as most people in America.

      The Pittsburgh Steelers also paid tribute. In addition to having a moment of silence at one of their games against the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers team president Art Rooney II issued a statement which read, “On behalf of the entire Steelers organization, we offer our support and condolences to the families of the attack on peaceful citizens worshiping at The Tree of Life Synagogue. Our hearts are heavy, but we must stand against anti-semitism and hate crimes of any nature and come together to preserve our values and our community. With that in mind we will ask everyone to join in a moment of silence and prayer prior to our game this afternoon.”

      A unique remaking of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ logo has been circulating throughout the internet as well, becoming a symbol of solidarity and strength after the attack. The yellow star on the original logo was replaced with the Star of David, along with the phrase “Stronger than Hate”. The logo was created by Tim Hindes, who was a mile away from the Tree of Life Synagogue when the shooting took place. He wanted it to represent resilience and hope.

      “Before it was the logo of a globally popular football team, the three diamonds were the seal of a product which helped develop the foundation of many cities across the globe — steel. Like Pittsburgh and its residents, steel is strong,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

     It is words and actions like these by players and fans alike that will hopefully help contribute to the beginnings of healing in the Pittsburgh community.

     Source: ABC News, USA Today, CNN

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