"It's bigger than football."
Those words from Cameron Heyward couldn't have been more accurate.
The Steelers did what everyone in Pittsburgh expected them to do this weekend. They played football. They beat the Cleveland Browns, 33-18, but they did a lot more. They rallied the city, they brought them together even for just a short time, to mourn as one, to get their minds on something else and to maybe share a smile on two for a little while.
On Saturday morning a senseless shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood left 11 members of the congregation dead, others injured, including members of the law enforcement community. It also left Pittsburgh a community with a shattered heart, but a will of steel.
The Steelers did their best to wrap their collective arms around the Pittsburgh community, especially the Squirrel Hill community on Sunday, with a moment of silence to honor the victims before the game, and heartfelt comments shared after the game.
I am a member of the Squirrel Hill community personally, and words can not express how we feel as members of this community. We are prayerful. Mike Tomlin
Two of the 11 victims, Cecil Rosenthal and David Rosenthal, are the brothers of former Steelers community relations manager Michele Rosenthal. The entire Steelers organization mourns along with her and all of the families, the team's heart is with her, and all agree with the sentiment from Ben Roethlisberger postgame on Sunday, and Brett Keisel today.
I’d like to start with saying our thoughts, love, and prayers go to all of the victims of yesterday’s senseless shooting in Squirrel Hill, especially from me and family to Michele (Rosenthal). We love you Michele and we are thinking about you. We all just need to love each other and put our faith in the Lord that we will get this fixed. Ben Roethlisberger
It’s a tight knit community, and a tight knit city. When you think about innocent people that have nothing to do with that, it’s horrible. It’s bigger than football. That moment of silence, it took a while to even think about football. There are a lot of families hurting. We have to work together and come together as a community. I know we play football, but it’s so much bigger than football. Cameron Heyward
There has been a little misconception, especially in the world today, about what exactly loving thy neighbor means. In the Bible it says love thy neighbor as thyself. It doesn’t say love thy neighbor only if he agrees with you, if his opinions match yours, if his beliefs match yours. There is no exception. Ryan Switzer
It was much bigger than a game of football. Our city took a hit. James Conner