TAMPA – Before Thursday night’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots, players, coaches, and fans honored the victims of the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 others.
Before the playing of the national anthem, the public address announcer at Raymond James Stadium asked those in attendance to hold a moment of silence and then turn on the flashlights on their cell phones “to shine their light for the brightest city on Earth.”
After the moment of silence, chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A” broke out through the stadium.
During the anthem, all Buccaneers players stood, as did all Patriots players, who held their right hands over their chests and their left hands on the shoulders of teammates.
This marked the first NFL game to be played since Sunday night’s shooting at a concert near the Vegas strip became the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Thursday night’s game is the latest sporting event to honor victims, with others likely to come during Sunday’s slate of NFL games. Prior to their National League wild card game against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks honored a former employee who died in the attack
Back on Dec. 16, 2012, in New England’s first game after the Sandy Hook massacre, the Patriots shot 26 white flares up into the sky following a moment of silence held to honor the 26 victims who died in the attack.
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.