A date that no one will forget in American history is September 11, 2001. Tragedy struck as two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, and one collided into the Pentagon. Little did we know how much this disaster would affect the entire country, including the NFL.
Faced with a national crisis, the decision many businesses and organizations faced was when was it safe to return to work? The words of former President George W. Bush echoed in history, “We can’t stop what we do, or otherwise, they win.” There certainly was truth in those words, but that didn’t make former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s decision any easier.
The easiest part to consider was player and fan safety. Naturally, stadium security had to step up, and certainly, tighter security measures were implemented. No matter what situation arises, safety will always be a concern in any football event. What was left to consider is if it was appropriate for football to continue.
For many fans, football is more than just a game. That said, comparing it to this devastating attack, places football exactly in the category in needs to be, a game. So many people died that day, so many people lost loved ones and so many people suffered and continue to suffer from life altering health issues. First responders, firefighters, police officers, military, good Samaritans all risked their lives to help others. It put a lot of things into perspective.
All of the above mentioned people indirectly affected many others across the nation, including the NFL players. People needed a chance to mourn, and while it was important to not change the way of American life too much, it was equally important to acknowledge, remember and honor the people involved in this horrific dark moment in American history.
This is why Tagliabue’s decision to cancel all football games the week after 9/11 shouldn’t be looked upon as a sign of “weakness” or “disappointing.” It was easy to say let’s continue business as usual, but it took courage to cease activity for a short amount of time. It was out of respect, safety and concern for humanity. In the end, that is what is most important in life.
Now we can all look upon this terrible historical event to remember and honor the victims, the heroes and all the entire American people for standing strong together. Today is the 16th anniversary of 9/11, and we must not forget the events that transpired that day. More importantly, we should never forget all of the departed and all the affected. United we stand.