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SBD/December 20, 2012/Sports In Society
Athletes Comfort Families Of Victims In Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting
Published December 20, 2012
OTHER ATHLETES REACHING OUT: In Nashville, Jim Wyatt notes Titans RB Chris Johnson “gained a friend for life in 11-year-old Jack McDonnell, who lost his younger sister, Grace, in the tragedy.” Johnson on Tuesday “spoke with the McDonnell family to express his condolences.” Johnson yesterday said, “It’s a situation where I just want to lift the family up, or lift anyone up who is going through such a tough time” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 12/20). In N.Y., Daniel Beekman notes the mother of slain teacher Victoria Soto “received a surprise phone call Wednesday from one of her courageous daughter’s heroes: Yankee Derek Jeter.” Her nephew James Wiltsie last night said, “Vicki loved the Yankees -- that was part of her eulogy. No one in the family reached out, so (Jeter) must have heard about it and ... reached out.” Wiltsie did not give details “of the conversation but did say it was uplifting” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/20).
ATHLETES MAKING STATEMENTS: In Oklahoma City, Jenni Carlson notes athletes have “turned their shoes or their gloves or their helmets into moving memorials.” Thunder F Kevin Durant wrote “NEWTOWN, CT” on the shoes he wore for the team’s game last Friday, “only hours after the school shooting.” The Heat wrote “Praying for families in CT” and “RIP to families in CT” on their shoes Saturday. The Patriots wore “black-ribbon logos on their helmets Sunday,” while both the NFL Giants and Jets teams “wore S.H.E.S. decals on their helmets.” Texans DE J.J. Watt “wrote the town's name on both of his game shoes Sunday.” Newtown, Conn. high school boy’s basketball coach Tim Tallcouch said, “The way they have shown their support in the last few days is fabulous. Even if their actions for a short time help ease the pain, it's worth it” (OKLAHOMAN, 12/20).
TALKING POINTS: Winthrop men's basketball coach Pat Kelsey following Tuesday's loss to Ohio State made an impassioned speech about the Newtown shootings, which came on the heels of Syracuse's Jim Boeheim touching on gun control after winning his 900th game Monday. CBS' Doug Gottlieb said: “Maybe, just maybe, we’ve entered an era where instead of people shouting at coaches to stick to basketball and hosts to stick to sports, we can now have an honest and frank conversation about fixing our country together” (“Rome,” CBS Sports Network, 12/19).