Tragedy struck Monday, as a pair of explosions detonated near the Boston Marathon finish line this afternoon while runners finished the race.
The ramifications in the sporting world were swift. The explosions happened just minutes after a game between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. The NHL postponed the Boston Bruins' home game Monday night against the Ottawa Senators. The NBA cancelled the Boston Celtics' home game against the Indiana Pacers outright, which was set for Tuesday night.
Boston, obviously, is a hub of talent in every sport, be it hockey, football, baseball, basketball or MMA.
Naturally, NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA and UFC stars were quick to react to the news. Past and present Red Sox stars came out in force to talk about the possible terrorist attack. Current Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon (who threw the final pitch to seal the Boston Red Sox's 2007 World Series victory) was quick to send out his condolences.
Current Sox outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino had this to say:
Praying for those effected by the explosions at the marathon. #Godblessboston— Jacoby Ellsbury (@JacobyEllsbury) April 15, 2013
Boston is a tough, resilient town and will prevail over this saddening tragedy! #PrayForBoston— Shane Victorino (@ShaneVictorino) April 15, 2013
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling chimed in as well:
God Be with anyone and everyone at the Marathon.— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) April 15, 2013
Celtics players also reacted to the news.
Sending prayers out for Boston— Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo) April 15, 2013
Prayers up 2 any and all affected by the attacks n Boston.— Avery Bradley (@Avery_Bradley) April 15, 2013
Boston Bruin right wing Tyler Seguin, just hours before the tragedy, tweeted this:
Can't believe how hard it is to get home right now. Might just get dressed and start heading right back to rink #marathonmonday— Tyler Seguin (@tylerseguin92) April 15, 2013
It was followed shortly with this:
Hope this was just a horrible accident. Prayers to everyone around the area that they are okay.— Tyler Seguin (@tylerseguin92) April 15, 2013
It was no less difficult for New England Patriots to deal with, as players came out with solemn messages.
Praying for Boston tonight this is my home going on 10 years I feel the pain in my heart 🙏🙏🙏— Vince Wilfork (@wilfork75) April 16, 2013
Ain't much left to do but pray.— Stevan Ridley (@StevanRidley) April 15, 2013
Wow can't believe what just happened at the Boston Marathon. Praying for everyone down there.— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) April 15, 2013
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. KeepBoston in your prayers.— Sebastian Vollmer (@SebVollmer) April 16, 2013
The foremost organization in mixed martial arts, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has deep roots in Boston. Former fighter and current analyst Kenny "Kenflo" Florian is a lifelong Bostonian, and was rightfully taken aback by the events:
Talking to friends & family in #boston & so far everyone is ok but not the case for others. Very upset about this incident. That's my city!— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) April 15, 2013
New England native, and former UFC heavyweight champion, Tim Sylvia was equally shaken:
Prayers for everybody back in Boston. I still got some good friends there to god bless u guys. Hope they catch the dirtbags— Tim Sylvia (@timsylviamma) April 16, 2013
UFC President Dana White, a University of Massachusetts graduate who grew up around Boston, was disgusted by the news:
Are u kidding me!? Bombing the Boston Marathon!!? So sad, my heart goes out to everyone who was injured!! #Disgusting— Dana White (@danawhite) April 15, 2013
In addition to all this, Boston is also a hotbed for Olympians, particularly Judoka. Gold medalist Kayla Harrison has been Tweeting messages from city officials, and offered a concise message we should all heed:
For those who don't know Boston and are unfamiliar with the Boston Marathon, it is legitimately a huge event that the entire city gets behind. This is truly a horrible turn of events.