Thousands mourn the young lives lost at a vigil Friday night. (TODD MAISEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Sports world shaken by Newtown shooting

Published On December 15, 2012 | By Kimberly Petalas

Dec. 14 is a day that no one will ever forget. It was a day when a horrible tragedy occurred. An elementary school in the little wooded town of Newtown, Conn. had been invaded. A 20-year-old gunman attacked an elementary school where 20 children, ages 5 through 10, and six adults were killed.

30 miles away from Newtown, in Bristol, is where the ESPN headquarters is located. When tragic events occur, it is hard for the world of sports coverage to move on, fearing it could be insensitive. Because of everything that happened, ESPN instructed its staff to “refrain from tweeting about sports until Sunday at noon.” They also asked their staff to not use the word “shooter” in the context of sports.

In addition, before any highlights or analysis of sports, all on-air talent was asked acknowledge the shooting, not in specific detail, but just to make note that it did happen.

ESPN’s requests seem both appropriate and unprecedented.

The sports world is clearly shaken over the traumatic event that has occurred. Professional athletes took to Twitter to voice their opinions.

Some athletes used the social media outlet to express their anger. Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta expressed his opinions about the event.

He then was very critical of the media interviewing young children about the incident.

Others posted about the sadness of the event. LeBron James also posted a series of tweets.

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe also took to twitter to talk about what the future holds.

Before games yesterday, coaches took time to reflect on the shooting before continuing on with their games.

“It’s awful, just an awful day. It really, really is,” Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before their game at Houston. “This is our jobs. This is not a game for us, it is what we do but when something like this happens, it supersedes job and everything else. As a parent – I don’t know – this is just awful, awful what happened.”

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott was very emotional when talking about what happened before the game.

“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.”

New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams, who has five children ranging in age from 2 to 14, also expressed some anger about the situation before the Hornets game.

“At some point, we’ve got to get past bureaucracy and all the nonsense and do something about this so our kids can be safe. 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.”

Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant wrote “Newtown CT” on both shoes for their victory over Sacramento.

“I wish I could do more,” he said. “But it hit me really hard. It’s tough to see, especially kids that couldn’t do anything for themselves. Words can’t even describe it. I’m kind of at a loss for words right now.”

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About The Author

Kimberly graduated from Hofstra University in December 2012. She has been a sports fan her whole life and grew up around sports, whether it was playing or watching them. She started her writing career interning for her local newspaper, The Gardner News, where she currently works as a reporter. In college, Kimberly wrote for Long Island Report, as well as Her Campus Hofstra.