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Philadelphia Eagles Players Show Up To Support High School Athletes As They End Their Season At The Linc After Fatal Shooting

For a quick recap from Jordie’s blog yesterday:

On Friday night there was a playoff game between Pleasantville and Camden [high schools]. During the game, somebody in the crowd started to fire a gun. 3 people were hit and a 10-year-old is still in critical condition.

And today there was a sad update. From the Philly Inquirer:

Ten-year-old Micah “Dew” Tennant, a fifth grader at Atlantic City’s Uptown School Complex, was one of three people shot at a game between the schools on Friday during a fight among several men that had nothing to do with the schools.

Hours before Pleasantville and Camden resumed that suspended game Wednesday afternoon, word came that Dew had died.

There is video of this shooting, but I didn’t feel right putting it in here. And you don’t have to focus too hard to imagine the scene beforehand, because it’s one we’re all familiar with…

High school kids bundled up in big coats & blankets on a Friday night under the lights, enjoying hanging out with each other & watching their classmates play football. Parents are cheering, little kids are running around… Could be anywhere.

And then suddenly they’re all scrambling for their lives, screaming as gunfire erupts.

Seeing the chaos, confusion, terror, people laying on the ground, a group of teens huddled beneath the bleachers towards the end… It’s gut-wrenching, infuriating, & heartbreaking. Nobody deserves to have this happen to them, especially kids. And yet whatever the circumstances of each, it happens all the time.

To me the only silver linings to this story are the acts of kindness that have followed. Among them, that the Philadelphia Eagles opened up the Linc for Pleasantville & Camden to come finish the playoff game against each other.

“This is a big deal for them. They didn’t ever think they’d make it playing on [the] Eagles field… This is motivation for them,” said Victoria Toro, 26, a Camden graduate whose boyfriend is an assistant coach.

The game ended with a 22-0 Camden victory, a bittersweet win for players who said they had played hard in Tennant’s memory. Their bus had detoured on the way to the game to stop at the hospital where Tennant died.

And the players themselves, despite what they’d been through, had the presence of mind to perform their own acts of kindness in honor of Micah’s family. Both teams donned his name & had tributes to him on various parts of their uniforms, and the Pleasantville team made a special video for the family.

Micah’s family is also being shown support via a GoFundMe (that was initially to help with medical costs on his recovery) which has gained over $26K and counting from donors all across the country, who also offered words of love & support.

The suspects involved have all been arrested along with the intended victim, who had a gun on his person as well (six men total, all in their late twenties and from neither team’s towns).

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Looking at tweets & reading the stories, I couldn’t help but notice a few people commenting that “go figure” this happened among ‘these particular schools’, and that they’re “not surprised”.

Can’t help but hop on my high horse here & say that if that’s what you’re thinking when you see images from the shooting, or Micah’s face, or those student athletes standing on the turf at the Linc with tears in their eyes but still ready to play, you really need to rethink what’s going on with the ugliness in your heart.

But back to the good… I’m glad the Eagles organization stepped up to give these kids & their families a place to finish this game, and with a way to end their season with a memory other than what happened on Friday night. In one of the videos where both teams are lined up to meet the players, you can hear one of the Eagles telling them to ‘have fun’. After everything they’ve been through, that’s all these kids should have to worry about. It means a lot that the players & coaches took the time to be there for them & let them know it’s ok to enjoy the game again.

And yes, I know Barstool isn’t usually for the more serious stories, but this one has been on my mind & I think it’s an important one to share.