Steelers and city of Pittsburgh honor lives lost in the synagogue shooting

A fan from Steelers game following the shooting holds a sign showing the unity of Pittsburgh.

A fan from Steelers game following the shooting holds a sign showing the unity of Pittsburgh.

Cory Fakterowitz, Staff Writer

Before the Steelers and Browns game and prior to the national anthem, a moment of silence was held at Heinz Field to remember the 11 who lost their lives at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

In tough times throughout American history, people have used sports as a way to come together and show their strength as a nation, sending a message to all those who wish to bring harm upon the country that we stand together and united through thick and thin. Sports have proven to be truly so much more than just a game. Saturday, October 27, at the Tree of Life Synagogue an anti-Semitic man walked into a temple yelling cruel things and killing 11 innocent people. Sunday, however, the city of Pittsburgh rose together and proved once again that even with all of the hate in this world, people still can come stand strong together and not let the fear of all this hatred stop them from living their lives as well as honor those who died. After the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Towers, Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93, the country found itself in shock and fear. For six days all baseball games were cancelled, but as teams started to return to the field you could feel the emotion and see how everyone in the stadium embraced and came together.  10 days after the attack, the New York Mets played the first game in New York City against the Braves. Looking at pictures and hearing stories about this game give me the chills every time.  With enormous security and a lot of patriotism, 41,235 people bravely made their way to Shea Stadium to prove that they would not live in fear and let bad people ruin the great ideals of America. That game, Mets catcher Mike Piazza hit the game winning home run and it was at that moment with Shea Stadium erupting that the pain of everything was eased. Piazza would go on to say, “People want to find refuge in sports, especially in baseball, want to find comfort in a crowd, being around other people. Maybe that has a tendency to ease the pain even if it’s just a little bit.”

Another recent example would be the miracle run of the Las Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural year after the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Honoring the 58 who lost their lives, the team retired that number and went on a run that no one could ever forget.  “Sports is the common denominator in the world that brings everyone together. If there’s any one place in the world where there is equality, it is probably sports. That was something that didn’t always exist. We’ve come a long way in sports. Why can’t society use sports as a way to bring people together and create change?” Stephen M Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, says it better than I ever could. Sports truly has the ability to do such great things and unify people and always will.