Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay said a moment of silence will be held prior to the start of Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in memory of the victims of Wednesday’s shooting in Thousand Oaks, California.
"Our thoughts and prayer are with the families and the victims that were affected by this terrible act that took place in our area," McVay said. "It always gives you a perspective on — sometimes, I know, me, personally — you get upset about losing a game or whatever and it brings you back down and you really realize what’s important in life and sometimes you take some of these things for granted."
A gunman attacked staff and patrons at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks late Wednesday night. Per the Associated Press, he killed 12 people, including Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, and injuring others before taking his own life.
The shooting was less than five miles away from the Rams’ practice facility on the campus of Cal Lutheran University. Several Rams players, coaches and staff members live in Thousand Oaks, and the team took an early morning survey of employees to make sure everyone and their families were OK and not directly affected, NFL Network’s Steve Wyche reported.
Rams players shared their condolences on social media Thursday. McVay said the players addressed the shooting during a team meeting before practice.
"Any time something like this occurs, we have a team meeting," McVay said. "It’s always kind of an open dialogue. Andrew [Whitworth] got up and addressed a lot of the players and talked about some of the things we wanted to be able to do in a positive way to try to make this unfortunate circumstance and situation — use this in a way that you can try to help support the people that were affected by this. We got the guys that [are] empathetic people that want to do good and that’s what we got in our building. That’s kind of the approach we’re going to take moving forward."
Kevin Demoff, the Rams’ chief operating officer, said he believed a moment of silence would be an appropriate gesture by the team in the wake of the tragedy.
"I would think that would be appropriate given the situation," Demoff told Wyche. "You saw that in Pittsburgh a couple weeks ago, what the Steelers went through, an unfortunate tragedy that’s become too common for us in the NFL. But we want to make sure that we honor the victims in the right way on Sunday."
Demoff said the team is looking at ways to help the community get through this difficult time.
"We really started this morning with our players, with our staff, trying to understand how we can help and contribute," Demoff said. "When we moved to this neighborhood three years ago, the Conejo Valley, Thousand Oaks welcomed us with open arms, and Cal Lutheran. It’s sort of surreal to be standing here on a campus that’s closed today because of the incident. But, trying to figure out how we can help. Right now there’s a blood drive at a local high school, a local hotel, how can we contribute to that."
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