LISTEN-Steelers Wanted to Put Joy in People's Hearts

Players/Tomlin react to Squirrel Hill shootings

Jeff Hathhorn
October 28, 2018 - 6:47 pm

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – It was the opening comment from the head coach and many Steelers players, reflecting on what happened in Squirrel Hill on Saturday. 

“There is so much love in this town, for the sports, for each other, for all of the different races, ethnicities, all that we have here,” said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  “It’s such a melting pot this city.  For this to happen, it brought tears to my eyes last night and during the moment of silence pre-game, same thing.  We all need to just love each other and put our faith in the Lord that we will get this fixed.”

“It just doesn’t seem real,” said Ramon Foster.  “We have some of our personnel that live in the area, some that were affected directly.  I just don’t understand the thought and logic behind certain people that hate someone so much that they never even knew to do a crime like that.  My condolences, sincerely, to everyone affect by it.  Hopefully we had an escape today for three and a half hours.”

It wasn’t an easy escape early for many of the players, especially after the moment of silence before kickoff.

“Coach always talks about when you step inside the white lines all the other stuff has to go away, sometimes it’s easier said than done,” Roethlisberger said.  “I said to the guys in the post-game prayer, we are thankful for the victory, but we understand there are bigger things.  There’s life.”

It wasn’t easy for the head coach either, Mike Tomlin’s family lives about 800 yards from the Tree of Life synagogue.

“I am a member of the Squirrel Hill community, personally, and words cannot express how we feel as members of this community,” Tomlin said getting emotional.  “We’re just glad we are here to serve our community if we can in some small way.”

Steelers captain Cam Heyward says his mom attended bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs right there and his father would play basketball at the Jewish Community Center.

“We have a lot of healing to do and our city can overcome this,” Heyward said.  “But everyone has got to love and everyone has to care.  We will continue to do our part.  I know everybody in this locker room cared so much for everybody that was involved in that.  We are going to continue to care.  It just doesn’t happen overnight.”

“No matter what someone’s going through, no matter their religious background,  if they’re fighting addiction, sexual orientation, whatever the reason is, we all deserve equal treatment,” said receiver Ryan Switzer as he was wearing a ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ sweatshirt he had ordered earlier last week.  “We all deserve love and we all deserve to be protected.”

“That was for the city,” said Stephon Tuitt.  “That was an opportunity to show the world and also show the city of Pittsburgh that we are always here to fight and given everything we have.  It maybe a little football game, it’s bigger than that with the situation that happened yesterday.  We went out there to put a little joy in people’s hearts.”