Texans honor Uvalde Elementary School shooting victims in season opener – National

Texans used the opening Sunday against Indianapolis to honor and remember the victims of the game Uvalde Elementary school shooting.

Texans host the Uvalde High School football team and wear “Uvalde Strong” decals on their helmets after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a shooting there in May.

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The team joined up with grocery chain HEB to pay for the team to travel 280 miles from Uvalde and watch the game from a suite. It’s part of the group’s ongoing support of the community after donating $400,000 to the Robb Elementary School memorial fund shortly after the shooting.

Winger Justyn Rendon said it was the first time most of his teammates had attended an NFL game.

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“It means a lot to a lot of these people just to get out of Uvalde in general and enjoy being here,” he said. “A lot of these people may never experience an NFL game like this. So that’s a really big thing. “

Uvalde coach Wade Miller said they want to do whatever they can to continue to honor those who lost their lives in the shooting.

“As far as 21-year-old memory goes, that was very important to us,” he said. “We’ve all lost someone or know someone (it happened) and… we’re like the rest of the world, we just wanted to help in some way. And hope this helps. “

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A video of the team was displayed on the video board at the stadium during the first quarter’s timeout on Sunday. The Uvalde players cheered as they were shown on the screen before a message reading: “We stand with Uvalde” flashed across the board.

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A team from the Texans including defenders Christian Kirksey and Kamu Grugier-Hill visited Uvalde earlier this month and surprised the team with new Nike-supplied uniforms at a team dinner.

Both were delighted to have the team open the scoring on Sunday.

“Whenever those things happen, the news comes, people come and they stay with them for a bit,” says Grugier-Hill. “But at the end of the day, the reality is that people leave and they still have to deal with the reality of what happened. So just being with them a little bit and trying to make them happy and get them out here is great (and) I’m so glad they’re here today. “

Kirksey said he has built relationships with a number of players and enjoyed getting to know them before their visit to Houston.

“For them to allow me to visit their city and sit down and go to their school, to their field, it’s good for them to come to Houston and watch us play,” he said. “So it’s great to have them in the stands.”

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Miller was overwhelmed by the support the Texans have given his team.

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“It was unbelievable,” he said. “You live in a small town in southwest Texas, and to know people care about us and when these people find out that those people want to know what their score is, it means both world.”

Rendon was asked if he was a Texas fan before the game. He paused and looked shy before answering.

“I’ll be honest, I’m a fan of the 49ers,” he said. “But it is amazing and wonderful what the Texans have done for us and the city of Houston.”

“We have a lot of fans on our team of many different teams – but we’re all Texas fans,” Miller added.

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Both Miller and Rendon talked about how sport has helped the city find distraction and try to heal after such an unimaginable tragedy. Rendon is especially proud to wear the number 21 on his shirt in memory of the victims every time he plays.

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“That means a lot, especially for the city of Uvalde that can only be exhausted by Friday night and represents the 21 lives lost on May 24,” he said. “I represent them on and off the pitch.”

© 2022 Canadian Press

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