NEW YORK, NY – All across the country, Americans paid heartfelt tribute to the dozens of NFL players who were hurt while honoring 9/11. From Seattle to Tampa Bay, people gathered in crowds or sat on their couches to pay their respects to the brave football players who risked life and limb Sunday to play football in honor of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Football stadium crowds 80,000 strong witnessed incredible acts of tribute and sacrifice on the part of the nation’s highest-paid football players. Stephen Jackson, the St. Louis Rams’ running back, bravely took the ball in memory of the victims of 9/11. He was tackled by a Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman also honoring 9/11, and tweaked his hamstring.
“It’s hard to watch, all those broken fingers, torn ACLs, and dislocated shoulders,” said St. Louis resident Martin Green, who attended the game. “But you have to, because they’re sacrificing for us.” Mr. Green displayed the Rams jersey he wore in honor of those players who sustained injuries honoring the victims of the terrorist attacks. “Stephen Jackson, if you’re reading this, thank you.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered all state flags lowered to half mast in honor of the twelve combined football players from the state’s two NFL teams who are listed as “questionable” after playing football on 9/11. “In this day of remembrance, we recall that our country was built upon the sacrifices of our brave men in uniform,” said Mr. Perry. “We have the hardest-hitting, hardest-tributing, hardest-honoring men in the world. We hold in our hearts those who gave some in memory of those who gave more than some. All, really. Go Texas.”
Television stations and other media outlets presented wall-to-wall coverage of Americans’ reactions to, and reflections upon, the NFL’s day of tribute to the victims of 9/11. “[Professional football players] gave us what we care about most on this earth – some football,” said a teary-eyed Brooklyn bartender who asked not to be identified because, “Today isn’t about me. It’s about Giants-Redskins honoring 9/11.” Many stores reported selling out of replica flags of the flags carried or worn by NFL players for several hours Sunday in honor of the victims and survivors of the terrorist attacks.
Companies like Campbells Soup, Reebok, and MasterCard announced that they will be donating, free of charge to the NFL, television commercial time to honor and glorify football players. “The nation deserves to know who these brave men are, and how much they remember on our behalf,” said Reebok VP Tyler Siderman. “Honoring these men hurt in the line of paid athletic duty while honoring those who lost their lives to the terrible terrorist attacks is just the right thing to do.” MasterCard will be starting a charitable fund, “The Heroes’ Heroes Fund,” to pay for the medical care for football players who hurt themselves on 9/11/11 honoring the memory of the victims of 9/11/01.
Preparations are already underway for next year, which will mark the first anniversary of the tenth anniversary of the NFL’s honoring of 9/11. Also Sunday, friends and family of the victims of 9/11 gathered to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of their loved ones.