Panthers Goalie Roberto Luongo Addresses Parkland Shooting In Speech, Team Honors Victims [VIDEO]
The Florida Panthers paid tribute to the 17 people killed in a high school in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day on Thursday, and their goalie Roberto Luongo delivered a moving speech.
Roberto Luongo Parkland Shooting Speech
Canadian Luongo, a 38-year-old Parkland resident, addressed his team’s home crowd in nearby Sunrise, Florida, and said “It’s time for us as a community to take action,” he said. “It’s enough. Enough is enough. We’ve got to take action.”
“I didn’t want to have anything scripted,” the goalie added. “I just wanted to let it come out the way it was meant to be.”
Luongo also thanked the teachers who risked or gave their lives to protect students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when a 19-year-old former student of the school — who was expelled — armed with an assault rifle opened fire on Feb. 14.
Roberto Luongo, a Parkland resident, with a really powerful speech before the Panthers/ Capitals game pic.twitter.com/eDoqFUixZQ
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 23, 2018
The goalie also praised the surviving students, who have been organizing and participating in rallies, marches and town hall meetings with elected officials to push for increased gun control. Some students and their parents even visited the White House to speak personally with President Donald Trump and his staff.
“I’m very, very proud of you guys,” Luongo said. “You guys are brave. You guys are an inspiration to all of us, and at the end of the day, you guys are what’s giving us hope for the future.”
Thursday, a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals, marked the Panthers’ first home game since the shooting, so the Florida team decided to honor the victims in as many ways as they could.
In a pre-game ceremony Thursday, the arena video screen showed the names and faces of each of the 17 students killed, and the darkened ice was then illuminated with 17 circles of light, with a student’s name inside each one.
Players from both teams stood for the ceremony, and some were visibly emotional as the hashtag #MSDStrong was displayed all throughout their arena.
The Panthers also organized a blood drive and designed special patches to raise money for the victims’ families. The team will also reportedly wear the patches and the high school’s logo on their helmets for the rest of the season.
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) February 18, 2018
Luongo made 33 saves in Thursday’s victory.