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PERIL IN PARIS BRINGS PRE-GAME SILENCE

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November 15, 2015, Queens, NY  The tragic massacres in Paris this past Friday have compelled many college teams throughout the country, as well as professional teams in various sports, to acknowledge the carnage with moments of silence before the start of games and matches.

The unfortunate events have created international mourning as 129 people were brutally killed. NBA basketball veteran Tony Parker was touched by what occurred, as he is a French national. Yesterday (Saturday) was a big day for college and high school sports, particularly college football. Many of the games began with a moment of silence.

The NBA and NHL followed suit yesterday and today. Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, issued an order for all scheduled games to begin with a moment of silence as a sign of respect for the fallen and their families and friends.

Individual players, yesterday and today, regardless of the sport, displayed personal commemorations on their apparel/footwear and/or on themselves (bodily) which would normally be prohibited, and in some cases, draw fines. These actions will certainly be overlooked.

Nearly 52 years ago, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963, the NFL callously played its full slate of games on the following Sunday, November 24. The misstep by the NFL caused a firestorm. Then, commissioner, Pete Rozelle, characterized the move as the worst decision he ever made.

Fourteen years ago, the 9-11 horror which felled the World Trade Center as well as an attack on the Pentagon on the same day, was nationally acknowledged. Flags were flown at half mast at stadiums, and most, if not all professional games/matches honored those who were unmercifully killed with pre-game remembrances.

Not even the world of sports is exempt from human tragedy. And it shouldn’t be.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.

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