By: Drew Marshall
In remembrance of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the sports world joined the population in solemn regards this past weekend. The sports’ world stopped for a moment to pay respect to the victims of 9/11 in the past week. During the sports’ season, people forget that athletes are just like anyone else, and many of them have their own ties to the attacks. The athletes, just like the public, feel for the families and anyone that was involved when the World Trade Center collapsed in 2001.
The sports’ world paid tribute in its own way all across the world. Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, and Mariano Rivera caught three first pitches from two first-response workers and one 9/11 survivor. At Soldier Field in Chicago, fans applauded the national anthem from start to finish, showing their appreciation for the men and women who did their part to help in the terrorist attacks. In Kansas City, 150 firefighters were assisted by football players as they pulled out an American flag that stretched from end zone to end zone. After the national anthem, the crowd erupted with chants of “U-S-A”. All around, people showed recognition on this historic event in their own way.
The 9/11 attacks also affected athletes as individuals. Just as the population remembers where they were during the attacks, so do professional athletes. “One of my friends heard a loud boom while he was walking to school,” NBA player Kevin Durant said, who was attending middle school in Maryland at the time. For others, the emotion may have hit closer to home. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was attending high school in New York when the Twin Towers fell. “When I got home, I went to the top of our building and could see the cloud of smoke in the distance,” Rice said. Though most of us were not affected that closely, everyone felt the same, no matter what they did for a living. San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito said that he went to a gas station after the attacks and “you could almost feel the shock running through everybody.”
The attacks of 9/11 will never be forgotten by the general population, and not by professional athletes either. During everyday life, it is easy to separate athletes from normal society, like they are a different breed. In the event of a national tragedy, however, everyone is equal. Remembering the terrorist attacks that occurred 10 years ago reminds Americans that we are all together, united as one. This is what the United States stands for: equality and unity. Though the tragedy still haunts American citizens, people can take solace in the fact that everyone is together, united and equal.