BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Through the sale of "Choose Love" T-shirts, the NFL's Bills, NHL's Sabres and National Lacrosse League's Bandits have surpassed $1 million in funds raised to support the East Buffalo community and victims impacted by the mass shooting last month.
The shooting at a Tops Friendly Markets in a predominantly Black neighborhood on May 14 killed 10 people and injured three.
The T-shirts with the phrasing and a selection of the teams' logos were made available with a $25 donation. All proceeds go towards the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund, which supports the survivors of the deceased and others directly affected, and the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund, which addresses other needs in the community related to the mass killing.
Players, coaches and staff from all three local professional teams wore the shirts May 18 while helping out in the community following the shooting.
"'Choose Love' -- it's a motto that I think maybe that we should start adopting as a country," quarterback Josh Allen said. "It's the golden rule, treating those as you'd wanna be treated. Again, what happened here was ... it's disgusting, despicable and there's so many different words you can use and none of them are nice.
"Again, we're here to brighten people's days and try to help move past this and share the grief with our community and let them know that we care and we wanna hold that with them."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also supported the effort during a visit to the site along with former Bills and Sabres players and owners Kim and Terry Pegula.
Last month, the Buffalo Bills Foundation, combined with the NFL Foundation, announced a $400,000 donation to the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund and a variety of nonprofit organizations working on emergency response efforts. Goodell and his wife, Jane, also donated $50,000 to the Bills Social Justice Fund, while Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas and his wife, Patricia, have raised over $264,000 through the Thurman Thomas Family Foundation to support the victims and community.
The Bills have acknowledged the importance of their work continuing to help the community and those affected for the future.
"We're here to listen to what we need to do. We have an open ear to hear from the community how we can help," running back Taiwan Jones said last month. "What we do know is we have to be here; we have to show up. So, it is easy for us to be here. The hard part is like you said, thinking of a long-term plan going forward."