Shaken sport stars pay tribute to shooting victims

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 16 2012 09:39 AM | Updated as of Dec 16 2012 11:09 PM

WASHINGTON - American sports stars shaken by the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school are paying tribute to the victims of the tragedy.

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder wrote "Newtown, CT" on his shoes for their game against the Sacramento Kings. Photo from the Thunder's Instagram account.

National Football League games will hold a moment of silence Sunday to remember the victims, with the New York Giants and New York Jets planning to wear an adhesive strip on their helmets marked "SHES," the acronym of Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"This shocking event has brought the nation together in grieving for the victims and their families as well as the survivors," an NFL memo said Friday, hours after the shooting.

"We believe it is appropriate and important for us to collectively recognize and participate in the grieving process at our games this weekend, as we have done on other occasions."

The reigning NBA champion Miami Heat held a team meeting on Saturday before a home game against Washington to talk about the tragedy.

"These games are nothing compared to when you have a tragedy like that," NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James said. "It sucks that sometimes you need a tragedy to put things in perspective, to appreciate what you have.

"With two kids of my own and them in elementary school, I just couldn't imagine sending them off to school and them not returning. It's a tragic loss for those families."

Teammate Dwyane Wade agreed, saying, "You think of all those families. It's a tragic time."

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra lamented the "despicable" and "horrific" shootings.

"You can't relate to a tragedy like that," he added.

Oklahoma City Thunder NBA star Kevin Durant wrote "Newtown CT" on his shoes before a game on Friday, saying "It hit me really hard. It's tough to see."

Major League Baseball slugger Josh Hamilton, who has four daughters, expressed his shock and sorrow over the tragedy.

"Look at what's happening in Connecticut," said Hamilton, who joined the Los Angeles Angels after finalizing a $125 million deal. "I'm sitting there watching the news and tearing up. I just can't imagine what these parents are going through."

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