Pittsburgh Sports Teams Offer Condolences After Synagogue Mass Shooting
JNS.org – Pittsburgh’s professional sports teams offered their condolences after a gunman killed 11 people and injured six others, including four responding law-enforcement officers, during a brit milah (“baby naming”) at The Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue as it was observing its weekly Shabbat services on Saturday.
“Our hearts go out to the victims of yesterday’s shooting in the Squirrel Hill community and the community of Pittsburgh at large,” said Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin on Sunday, following the team’s win over the Cleveland Browns, which was preceded by the team observing a moment of silence at Heinz Field, approximately several miles from the synagogue.
Tomlin lives in Squirrel Hill. “Words cannot express how we feel as members of this community,” he added.
“Our hearts break at the news of this morning’s tragedy in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh,” the Pittsburgh Pirates posted on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this horrible event.”
“The Pittsburgh Penguins join the greater Pittsburgh community in standing up against this senseless violence and supporting the victims and families of the Tree of Life Synagogue,” said David Morehouse, president and CEO of the team. “Under these circumstances, we determined it was not appropriate to continue with our annual Halloween theme on Tuesday, so those activities have been cancelled. The entire city has a heavy heart.”
Before the team’s on-the-road game against the Vancouver Canucks, a moment of silence was held in memory of the victims. “We may be in Vancouver, but our hearts are always in Pittsburgh,” tweeted the club. The Penguins scored five goals in the shutout win.
The team also announced that the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation would donate $25,000 to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the same amount to create a benefit fund with the city’s Department of Public Safety for the four police officers injured in the shooting.
The team said it will hold a moment of silence on Tuesday before it hosts the New York Islanders.
A viral insignia was created in the aftermath of the tragedy, depicting the Steelers’ logo with a Star of David replacing the yellow hypocycloid, a star-like shape. It has been featured in social-media profile pictures with some using it as a sticker alongside their standard profile picture and some with the image by itself.
“This is an image for Pittsburgh and those who love Pittsburgh,” the image creator, 40-year-old Tim Hindes, wrote on Facebook. “I see every posting of this image as a WIN for love and a strike against hate. I am so touched that it has resonated with so many of you across the globe. I thank you and my city thanks you.”