Orlando City stops play for beautiful mid-match remembrance of shooting victims
As the city of Orlando tries to move on after the tragic mass shooting at a gay nightclub last weekend, sporting events that bring people together continue to be part of the healing process.
When Orlando City returned from a Major League Soccer break and hosted the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday -- the first major sporting event in Orlando since the shocking incident -- it was a day-long dedication to recognize those affected by the attack.
One of the tributes included a moment of silence where players on both teams paused and fans created a rainbow tifo around the stadium in the 49th minute to honor the 49 victims who lost their lives.
Orlando players also wore special #OrlandoUnited patches and shirts during the pre-game warm-ups, with similarly branded merchandise being sold to raise money for the OneOrlando Fund, which was set up to help those directly affected by the shooting.
Orlando's other soccer team, the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League, were on the road on Saturday in Washington D.C., where the Spirit also recognized the victims in the 49th minute with a stoppage of play.
Tonight we honored the lives of those lost in Orlando with fan applause & a full stoppage of play in the 49th min ? pic.twitter.com/6MEzDs1Hdp— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) June 19, 2016
For the occasion, the field also had a banner painted near the center circle that said, "We stand with Orlando," with a ribbon combining an American flag and a rainbow flag.
After the tragic shooting took place, the soccer world was quick to express grief and recognize the victims. On Thursday, United States national team captain Michael Bradley wore a rainbow armband at the Copa America quarterfinal in Seattle, a joint effort from the Sounders in MLS and the Reign in the NWSL.