BUFFALO, NY — A day after 10 people were killed and three others injured in a shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, Bills safety Micah Hyde committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from his charity softball game to the families of the victims.
Hyde said that the long-planned softball game was almost canceled due to the weekend’s events, but that he felt it was important to bring the community together after such a tragedy and do something positive.
The attack took place Saturday afternoon when a white 18-year-old man opened fire at a Tops Friendly Markets located in an efficiently Black neighborhood in Buffalo. Authorities have described the act as “racially motivated violent extremism.”
“I still can’t believe it,” Hyde said. “But when there’s hate in the world, you kind of erase it with love, and coming out here today and showing the community love and love to the youth, love to the community, love to the foundation. I guess that’s the way to combat it.”
A $200,000 check was presented to Hyde’s IMagINe For Youth foundation by the event’s sponsors prior to the game. In addition to a portion of other proceeds, the money collected from the silent auction held at the event is going to the victims’ families. Everything raised from the softball game is going back to Western New York.
The event attracted over 10,000 people to Sahlen Field in downtown Buffalo, after less than 2,000 attended Hyde’s first charity softball game back in 2019. More than three dozen Bills players were in attendance, including quarterback Josh Allen, tight end Dawson Knox, cornerback Tre’ David White and safety Jordan Poyer.
“Praying for and with our Buffalo community,” the Bills tweeted Saturday evening. “Our hearts are with the victims, their families and friends.”
With voluntary OTAs continuing this week for the Bills, multiple players said that they expect the team to get together Monday during meetings to figure out the best approach for the larger group to help the community and those most directly impacted by the shooting.
“My heart goes out to the victims and their families,” Allen said. “We really haven’t talked as a team yet. We’ll be in the building tomorrow and I’m sure we’ll talk about it and figure out a way to help the situation, help the families out. It’s something that you never think it’s gonna happen in your community and when it does, it hits home. I was sick to my stomach all day yesterday. I was flying back from my sister’s graduation, and it was just, it’s gut wrenching. It really is.
“And again, we’ll talk as a team tomorrow and kind figure out what we want to do, but there’s no doubt that we’re gonna do something.”
Allen said that he was glad Hyde decided not to cancel the event as it gave Bills players an opportunity “to get out here, show face and show that we care for this community.”
“The microcosm of one NFL football team, the locker room is different ethnicities, races, personalities, all mixed into one,” Allen said. “Coming out here, having a good time and showing the community this is who we are as a team. This is who we are as a community, and we want to be a part of this community.”
While the events of the day included a home run derby and a seven-inning softball game between the offense and defense, the weight of what occurred in the community over the weekend was omnipresent, including during a moment of silence and the emotional national anthem sung by Buffalo Police Officer Armonde “Moe” Badger.
“If we stopped and canceled everything because of hate, we wouldn’t move forward,” Hyde said. “There’s a lot of it, and I think all you can do is just, like I said, spread love and love one another. I think that it was big throughout the last couple years in society, obviously going through COVID and all that type of stuff to really just reach out, help each other and love on each other.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.