Tim Tebow and Shaquille O’Neal were among a group of local athletes to visit victims of last week’s mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse night club.
Tebow, who grew up in Jacksonville and attended Florida; O’Neal, who still lives in Orlando and played his first four seasons with the Orlando Magic; Johnny Damon, the baseball star for the Boston Red Sox who grew up in Orlando; and Kaka, an international soccer star and player for Orlando City, visited Orlando Regional Medical Center on Monday to comfort victims of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“Ann and I thank these amazing athletes for bringing joy and encouragement to the survivors and their families who are recovering from the terrorist attack,” Florida governor Rick Scott said in the statement to the Orlando Sentinel. “I also want to thank the Orlando Regional Medical Center and their amazing staff who have worked around the clock to care for these individuals. We are all inspired by the hope, love and courage displayed by these survivors during their recovery.”
For Tebow the trip was especially personal.
One of Tebow’s former teammates was a bartender at Pulse night club and was shot three times. He is in the hospital recovering, having been rescued by someone inside the club and “bear hugged” to prevent further loss of blood, according to First Coast News in Jacksonville.
The hospital visit was arranged by Gov. Scott’s office, according to TMZ. All the victims they visited were also presented with medals and a lot of well wishes.
It was certainly good to see how these athletes helped lift their spirits.