Sports world reacts to Boston bombing

The shot heard around the world. A common phrase in the world of sports and one that became all too real on April 15 as two explosive devices detonated at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Law enforcement pursued the two suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, ending in the death of Tamerlan, 27, and the capture of Dzhokhar, 19.

Interestingly enough, both suspects were accomplished sportsmen. Tamerlan competed in amateur boxing, and Dzhokhar was a wrestler. This made the whole ordeal hit even closer to home, as participants in sports are sometimes our first true understanding of what it means to be a hero.

Luckily, many athletes unflinchingly responded.

“I wasn’t surprised by the outpouring from the sports world,” said Director of the Friends Center and Campus Ministry Coordinator Max Carter in an email interview. “The sports world uses a good deal of martial imagery and patriotism, so it was a natural reaction.”

One of the initial tributes came just two days later at the Bruins home ice game against the Buffalo Sabres. Video of the rousing National Anthem from the event quickly went viral.

“As you can imagine a lot of people asked me (to rank them), and the answer has always been easy,” said Rene Rancourt, who sang the anthem while over 18,000 fans joined in, according to ESPN. “I waited 35 years for that Stanley Cup. But now, I must tell you, this tops them all.”

Even the players were moved by the audience participation.

“My hair was standing up on the back of my neck,” said Bruins left wing Shawn Thornton told the NHL Network, who sang along with the fans. “It was very emotional.”

Those in the sports community offered not only emotional support but financial support as well.

The National Football League answered by donating $100,000 to One Fund Boston. The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and the family of Patriots owner Robert Kraft have agreed to match donations up to that amount.

They have already raised a considerable $617,000, thanks in part to contributions from the NFL Foundation.

However, it was important not to forget those who were first on the scene helping to sort through the chaos and bring back order.

The Boston Celtics honored community members who offered aid in the aftermath of the blasts.

“You don’t get a chance a lot of times to say thank you to firemen and policemen,” said Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers to ESPN. “My dad was a cop. So it’s nice that people have a chance and want to thank them, so I think it’s terrific.”

Even on campus the kindness of the response was not lost.

“I was proud to see the Celtics wearing patches that showed their support,” said senior and basketball fan Lateef Mitchell. “Like the (New Orleans) Saints winning after Katrina, Boston was able to triumph over their tragedy.”

It is important to remember that the U.S. is not alone in trying times. A number of international events featured participants wearing black armbands in support of those affected.

“(The armband) means that runners are stronger than bombers,” said Valerie Bloomfield, a 40-year-old London Marathon participant from France, according to CBS Sports.

It is this knowledge that keeps the world working towards progress.

“The reaction by the sports world showed how different communities can come together and feel the pain of others,” said senior peace and conflict studies major Simon Warhaft.

“Hopefully it won’t stop there and people will further educate themselves on why this happened — and what can be done to support all communities, including Chechens.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email