This week marks the three-year anniversary of a tragic event in the United States. On December 14, 2012, 20 children and six adults were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. It was the deadliest shooting ever at a grade school or high school in United States history.
Two days later, Milan easily defeated Pescara 4-1 at the San Siro. Antonio Nocerino opened the scoring 33 seconds in with as easy a finish as a player could hope for.
His goal meant little in the game and has surely been forgotten by the masses. What lives on, however, is the message he delivered after the game.
Nocerino dedicated his goal to the families of the victims of the shooting in Newtown.
This was his message to Milan Channel:
I want to take the chance to dedicate my goal to the American families of the children killed in the school, my thoughts are only with them. I don't know how much the dedication will help the dead American children, but everything I did today was only for them.
He had no connection to the victims, nor does he have any connection to the United States. But his message showed how sports can be both so meaningless and so special at the same time. They have a way of uniting people in ways other activities cannot.
We have seen such recently, as well, following the attacks in Paris. Even simple gestures, such as moments of silence and the reception the French national team received in England, speak volumes about our international society, how we can all come together as one. Sports is an important link in that union.
I live in Connecticut, about an hour east of Newtown. All over the state, we did what we could to provide support to the community. As a Milan fan, it was nice to hear such a message from Nocerino. Like he said, his dedication may not have done much help on the surface, but it showed that we are all connected as people.