Sorrow but not separate: The uniting power of sports

Joseph Griswold – Anchor Staff

In the world there is good and there is evil.

On Saturday October 27 the world was reminded how evil the world can be when a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh and killed 11 people.

The abhorrent act shook not only Pittsburgh, but the entire United States to its core. Eight men and three women lost their lives during Saturday morning religious services in what Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto called, “ [The] darkest day of Pittsburgh’s history”.

On Sunday, the residents of Pittsburgh rose sorrowful, but ready to root for their hometown Steelers. As the community continued to mourn for those lost, the sports community united with love and compassion around the game they love. Before the game the Steelers held a moment of silence for those lost along with teams across the National Football League.

The Steelers then went on to defeat the Cleveland Browns 33-18 led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who hoped the victory provided, “A three-hour break of maybe not thinking about it all the time”.

Following the game head coach Mike Tomlin, a member of the Squirrel Hill Community said, “Words cannot express how we feel as members of the community. We are prayerful”  

Along with Tomlin many others players expressed their sympathies including defensive end Cameron Hayward who said,  “For the families involved, that [pain] never goes away. … Our city can overcome this, but everybody’s got to love, everybody’s got to care, and we’ll continue to do our part. I know everybody in this locker room cared so much for everybody who was involved in that. And we’re going to continue to care. It just doesn’t happen overnight”.

Along with the NFL, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League all held moments of silence following the tragedy.

There is no way to prevent all evil, but together love, compassion and sport conquer all.

Photo courtesy The Athletic