(ThyBlackMan.com) One of the most violent and vile events in recent American history occurred in Las Vegas over the weekend, when a gunman perched high on the upper level of a Las Vegas Strip hotel shot a stream of bullets down on an outdoor country music festival below, killing over 50 people and leaving over 500 people injured as thousands of frantic concert-goers scrambled for safety.
Like tragic events like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016, there is significant time for grief, heartache, and sorrow for the victims and their families and a time for reflection following the events. Luminaries from the fields of sports and athletics have displayed their humanity following the Las Vegas shooting in various ways.
Immediate reactions to major events is now often captured by social media. Through social media, athletes like LeBron James of the NBA, Bryce Harper of Major League Baseball, and Julian Edelman of the NFL were among those who sent out prayers and well wishes to those affected by the mass murder in Las Vegas. Former Major League Baseball pitcher Mike Tomlin was at the country music event where the shooting took place and used social media to confirm that he and the people who joined him were safe.
Not unexpectedly, Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett decided to use his social media platform to tweet, “Do we wait around for prayers to be answered or continue to work to make a difference while we’re on hold.” Bennett is the brother of Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who has become one of the current faces of the protests during the national anthem against police brutality and inequality in America.
Las Vegas has a considerable relation to sports in numerous ways. Many big time boxing matches, including many Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing matches, often take place in Las Vegas and the Oakland Raiders will be relocating to Las Vegas in either 2019 or 2020, depending on the completion of the team’s planned new stadium.
The first major sports team that calls Las Vegas home is the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL, who begin their first season this year. Following the tragedy, the Golden Knights released a statement in support of the victims of the shooting and Golden Knights majority owner Bill Foley said the team will make a donation toward relief for the victims. Foley said the team is working on honoring the victims and first responders at the first home game for the Golden Knights played at T-Mobile Arena on October 10.
The president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, known as the UFC, Dana White has said that UFC 216 will go on as planned in Las Vegas this weekend despite the mass shooting. White said UFC will donate $1 million to the families of those affected by the tragedy and the promotion will also dedicate Saturday’s UFC 216 card, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena, to the city of Las Vegas. The gun violence from Las Vegas should remind people of one of the most important speeches in the history of the ESPYs, the ESPN sports awards show.
Zenobia Dobson accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on behalf of her late son, former high school football player Zaevion Dobson, who sacrificed his own life to shield two girls from gun shots. During the 2016 ESPYs, Zenobia Dobson said, “We need to rewrite laws make it harder for the people to get guns. Some progress has been made, but just a few months ago in Tennessee a law was passed to allow more people to carry guns on college campuses. What sense does that make? We need to go in the opposite direction.”
Staff Writer; Mark Hines