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Sports Community Impacted By Connecticut Tragedy

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By Jacobi Eaves
Special to the NNPA from the Atlanta Black Star

There were multiple sports figures that took to social media websites Friday to express their feelings about the shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, with every NBA game having a moment of silence before their Friday night start.

“I don’t know if any of you have family, friends or connections to the horror that took place today in Connecticut. Let us all pray for them. The devastation is immeasurable,” Kobe Bryant wrote on his Facebook page.

Adam Lanza, 20, walked into Sandy Hook Elementary Friday and carried out a massacre that killed 26 people, including 20 children between the ages of 5-10, after killing his mother at home. He then committed suicide at the school.

Hours after the incident hit the airwaves, many athletes expressed their emotions over social media websites to share their shock and sympathy with the victims in Newtown.

“Innocent victims just gone,” LeBron James said in a series of posts on Twitter. “This is really messing with my mind. Kids is everything to me! And of i have 2 of my own in elementary school as well. I can’t imagine it happening to my kids school. I and the rest of the families would be devastated! Something has to be done.”

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott had a difficult time talking about events that occurred Friday as he addressed the media after their 90-86 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I have three healthy kids and a beautiful granddaughter,” he said. “When you hear about kids who are that young and don’t get a chance to live because of something that’s so senseless as somebody going in and doing the things that this person did, I think it affects everybody. It puts everything in the right perspective as well. As much as we love this game, this doesn’t mean nothing.”

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder wrote “Newton CT” on his right shoe in the Thunder’s 113-103 victory over Sacramento.

The NFL issued a memo Friday asking each of their teams to observe a moment of silence before each game this weekend.

“This shocking event has brought the nation together in grieving for the victims and their families as well as the survivors,” the note read. “We believe it is appropriate and important for us to collectively recognize and participate in the grieving process at our games this weekend, as we have done on other occasions.”

Even with all the sympathy that athletes were sending out, Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta expressed anger.

“Not sure if there is anything lower than harming innocent children,” Gionta tweeted. He ended his tweet with a hashtag of “coward,” but also scrutinized the media for interviewing young children outside the school after the incident.

New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams, who has five children ranging from the ages of 2 to 14, expressed his feelings about the slaying.

“If we can go to outer space and take care of trees and rivers and animals, we can do a better job of taking care of our kids. It’s just a sad situation.”

Over the next couple of days athletes, coaches and management will continue to express their sympathies while cherishing their time with their family, but more importantly with their children as Christmas nears.

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