New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will wear cleats with a Star of David during Sunday’s football game against Pittsburgh, to honor the victims of the last month’s deadly synagogue shooting in the city.
The cleats included the image of the logo of the Tree of Life synagogue where the shooting took place in October, as well as a Jewish star and the hashtag “STRONGERTHANHATE.”
Edelman, who is Jewish, tweeted out a photo of the cleats before his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, including the names of all 11 victims in the attack.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who is a also a major Jewish philanthropist, flew early to Pittsburgh, in order to visit Tree of Life on Saturday. He then attended services and gave an address at the nearby Rodef Shalom synagogue.
In Remembrance. בזיכרון עץ חיים#StrongerThanHate
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) December 16, 2018
Edelman was not the first football player to pay tribute to the Tree of Life victims with his cleats.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sported similarly designed shoes in his November 5 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.
That same day, Edelman appeared at his postgame interview wearing a blue baseball cap featuring a Star of David with an “I” in it, the logo of Israel’s national baseball team.
“You know, it’s just to let the people out in Pittsburgh know that I’m thinking about them, sending vibes. They’re in our prayers. That was a big hit to our community and it’s uncalled for. So, I just let them know I’m behind you, I’m supporting,” he told reporters.
Julian Edelman explains his hat and why he is wearing it: To show support to Pittsburgh and the Jewish Community. pic.twitter.com/XsodGEVBRG
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 5, 2018
After the shooting, he tweeted that his heart was “broken for the families in Pittsburgh.”
My heart is broken for the families in Pittsburgh. It’s hard to even imagine such senselessness. As a Jew, an American and a human, I’m devastated. We are with you, Pittsburgh. #treeoflifesynagogue
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) October 28, 2018