<
>

Mike Tomlin made passionate address to Steelers after Pittsburgh shooting

PITTSBURGH -- Steelers coach Mike Tomlin addressed the Pittsburgh shooting with his team Saturday night in what players called a passionate moment.

Tomlin told his team he lived close to the Tree of Life Synagogue, where a mass shooting left 11 people dead and several others injured earlier Saturday.

"I'm a member of the Squirrel Hill community personally," Tomlin said after the Steelers' 33-18 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. "Words cannot express how we feel as members of the community. We are prayerful."

Tomlin added he wouldn't make the moment "about me or us" and is glad to serve the community in a small way with the game. Tomlin estimated he lives about 800 yards from the synagogue.

Among the dead were David and Cecil Rosenthal. Their sister, Michele Rosenthal, used to work for the Steelers as a community relations manager.

"It was tough. It was crazy tough, especially with Michele and the closeness we have with her," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "We're thankful for the victory, but we also understand there are bigger things -- there's life. I'm glad we could gift people three hours with a break."

The Steelers held a moment of silence inside Heinz Field before kickoff.

"Way bigger than football," guard Ramon Foster said.

Several players issued supportive tweets over the weekend and were proud to take the field for their city.

"Tragedy what happened to our city," running back James Conner, a Pennsylvania native who played college football at Pitt, said after the game. "Today was much bigger than the game of football. Good we got the win to try and uplift spirits and vibes of our city. Our city took a hit today. Our hearts with all the victims and all the victims' families. We still have them in mind."

Defensive end Cameron Heyward entered the stadium with a T-shirt featuring a heart around the word "Pittsburgh." Many fans inside Heinz displayed a "Stronger than Hate" sign pairing the Steelers' logo with the Star of David.

Heyward said Sunday was a highly emotional day, but the team did its best to focus.

"You can't not think about it," Heyward said.

In a statement issued Sunday morning, team president Art Rooney II said the organization offered support to the families affected.

"Our hearts are heavy, but we must stand against anti-Semitism and hate crimes of any nature and come together to preserve our values and our community," Rooney said.

Added cornerback Mike Hilton: "Hopefully getting this win brought some type of joy today."