Explosions at the 117th Boston Marathon sent shockwaves through the entire country on Monday. While three were killed and hundreds more injured, Americans rose up and united to form one of the strongest relief efforts this world has ever seen.
Among the many who offered their services to help those affected were professional athletes, who gave their support on the scene and from afar. While one athlete, former New England Patriots’ offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi, was carrying victims away from the madness, other star athletes were offering up their condolences via social media.
One NFL player, Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, pledged to donate $100 for every pass that he catches and $200 for every pass that he drops during the upcoming season to the Boston Marathon relief.
With the catastrophe now over and the aftermath on our hands, the relief goes far beyond financial support. The lines between race, religion and economic class have all been blurred. No matter your background, we must join together and help support those in need.
Athletes are in no better position to do so. On top of having the financial means to lend a helping hand, they are role models whose platform allows their words and actions to reach far and wide. So how can they help victims of the Boston Marathon beyond donating money?
Visiting Boston’s hospitals and offering up their thoughts and prayers in person is a great way to put a smile on the faces of those that lost something on that traumatic day. Knowing that the superstar athletes you see on television have the compassion to set their schedules aside and make the trek to visit Boston can shed a glimmer of hope on the sea of darkness that these innocent people have been thrust into.
Once the victims of this horrible attack have healed, inviting them to games would be a terrific way for athletes to show how much they care about those affected. For many sports fans, there’s no greater thrill than seeing the action up close and personal.
Even small gestures can make a lasting impact. Subtle acknowledgements on eye black, gloves and cleats (a la Sandy Hook) can put a heavy heart at ease. Sending care packages with supplies and team gear to victims and their families is a great way to not only lift spirits, but build lasting bonds between players and fans.
Teams everywhere have already begun offering up moments of silence before games, and the outpouring of support is sure to endure for weeks. As time goes on, many franchises will surely find cleaver ways to help the victims of this tragedy pick up where they left off.
Above all, just showing their continued support for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings will be huge for professional athletes everywhere. Their voices resonate louder than many in times of crisis, and it’s their duty to make sure that the right message is heard.