Orlando City SC’s game against the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night marked the first major sporting event in “The City Beautiful” since the tragic, senseless loss of 49 lives inside a gay nightclub one week ago tonight.
“Our city has endured dark moments in the past couple of days following two horrific acts of violence, and we are looking forward to using the influence of our sports team to bring some positivity into people’s lives,” said Orlando City SC Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “We are in the midst of tirelessly working to create a memorable gameday experience to honor the memories of our brothers and sisters on Saturday.”
In a joint collaboration across sports teams in Central Florida, MLS’s Orlando City, NWSL’s Orlando Pride, NBA’s Orlando Magic, ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears and AFL’s Orlando Predators are joining forces to sell #OrlandoUnited branded t-shirts with all net proceeds benefiting the City of Orlando’s OneOrlando Fund – OneOrlando.org. For more details on purchasing the t-shirts please visit here.
Prior to kickoff on Saturday, the two teams entered the field to “All You Need Is Love,” a timeless classic by The Beatles, rather than the traditional MLS anthem.
50 seats were to be left empty for the game, replaced with balloons of the rainbow’s colors, honoring the 49 lives lost inside Pulse nightclub and Christina Grimmie, a 22-year-old singer shot and killed in Orlando a day earlier.
Various other teams and individuals across the sport in this country, certainly not limited to the ones seen below, paid tribute to the lives lost in a number of unique signs of solidarity.
Orlando City SC and the entire Orlando community have made all of us so very proud.