“Please rise and remove your hats,” an announcer said Wednesday night as the silhouettes of red maple leaves stretched across the Pittsburgh ice. “Ladies and gentlemen, tonight our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Ottawa and across Canada.”
Though Consol Energy Center, where the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins play, is hundreds of miles away from Ottawa — and though the Penguins played the Philadelphia Flyers, not a Canadian team — spectators and athletes joined together to sing "O Canada" to honor victims of the shooting that took place Wednesday at an Ottawa war memorial and at the Canadian parliament building.
On Wednesday, a man shot and killed a guard at Canada's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier before fleeing to the parliament building and engaging in a gun battle with police which left the suspect dead, the BBC reported.
Wednesday night, spectators in the 19,758-seat Pittsburgh stadium stood with a nation reeling from the terrorist attack, cheering when singer Jeff Jimerson finished the anthem.
Though the Ottawa Senators compete with the Penguins and Flyers in the NHL Eastern Conference, players stood together following the shooting, part of a long history of tragedy uniting rival teams.
In 2013, following the deadly Boston Marathon Bombings, the New York Yankees displayed a sign outside their stadium to honor victims. The Yankees’ insignia and the Red Sox’s traditional B stood on either side of a poster that read “United We Stand.” Twelve years prior, Red Sox fans sang “New York, New York” after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
When the Washington Redskins took to the field against the Cleveland Browns in August, some players held up their arms as they came out of the tunnel, standing in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.
The Senators postponed their Wednesday night game against the Toronto Maple Leafs following the shooting.