December 30, 2012

How the World of Sports Rallied Around Newtown

By - Lauren Dundee

A little over two weeks after 26 people were killed in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut, people are still reeling from the tragedy. Memorials have sprung up across the country, and the world continues to mourn with the citizens of Newtown.

Some of the greatest acts of humility and compassion came from the world of sports.

These athletes, who so many children at Sandy Hook Elementary admired, came together in light of the tragic events from that fateful Friday morning. From basketball to college football, the sports world offered its deepest condolences to the people of Newtown.

Photo by: Getty Images
One of the first tributes shown was in the NBA. Stadiums took a moment of silence before each game to honor the victims. Numerous players tweeted their heartbreak and offered their thoughts and prayers. The Miami Heat took to the court the Saturday after the shooting with their children by their sides. Many players, such as Kevin Durant, wrote tributes on their sneakers. His white Nike's simply read, "Newtown, CT."

Nothing more needed to be said.

Around NFL stadiums, signs read words of compassion and heartbreak, instead of being about the teams. Most players had some form of tribute to Newtown written on their gloves or cleats. During the moments of silence that filled the arenas, many players simply broke down.

Several athletes took a more personal approach to help the people of Newtown. Texans defensive end J.J. Watt hung out with children from the town at the stadium. Titans running back Chris Johnson wrote the names of the victims on his cleats and phoned one of the families. He also plans to send an autographed jersey.

One of the most touching stories came from New York. 6-year-old Jack Pinto, idolized Giants star wide receiver Victor Cruz. In fact, Pinto was buried in Cruz's jersey. Cruz was so touched, he wrote tributes to Pinto on his cleats and gloves that read "R.I.P. Jack Pinto," "Jack Pinto, my hero," and "Jack Pinto this one is 4 u." Cruz plans to visit with Pinto's family and give them the cleats and gloves.

Yankees legend Derek Jeter also reached out to the people of Newtown. One of the victims, teacher Victoria Soto, was a diehard Yankees fan. Jeter heard of her obsession and called the Soto family. He spoke with Soto's mom and sister and offered his condolences.

In college football, the Hokies will honor the victims of Newtown during their upcoming bowl game. Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history when 32 people were killed there on April 16th, 2007. The team will adorn their helmets with an orange and green ribbon, the colors of the two schools intertwined, with the word "Prevail" and the number "58," the total number of victims.

Tributes even came from across the Atlantic. The Queens Park Rangers wore black armbands during a Premier League game versus Fulham. Chelsea captain John Terry offered his sympathies on Instagram.

It's always calming to hear something good in the midst of tragedy. The sports world came together following the tragic events in Newtown, and their memorials were seen all across the globe. Hopefully it offered some form of peace to those affected and showed that the world is standing with them.

1 comment:

  1. Sports always have a way of helping with the healing process. Big part of it.