NEW YORK — On Friday, we learned more about a new United Nations initiative to combat genocide involving sports and a family member of one of the victims of the Tops shooting.
The U.N. is calling this initiative Game Plan, and it's the result of two years of work that started after the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh.
And now families of the 5/14 victims and survivors are involved.
Game Plan's goal is to fight hate speech and genocide through sports because they say sport is about coming together to work toward the same goal.
The United Nations also said on Friday morning that genocide and hate speech prevention needs to be implemented at the community level, so sports teams, leagues, and corporate partners are part of this group.
On Friday morning, people shared their personal stories of losing loved ones to these crimes, including Raymond Whitfield, Ruth Whitfield's son.
"We need all of you. These United Nations, the athletes, the sports teams, and leagues, your voice matters perhaps more than you can know. Because it uniquely resonates not only with the broken hearted grieving families, but it also connects with the isolated misguided individual who is left confronting a choice, and that choice is to become a lone wolf loser or to join the winning team, and we will win," Whitfield said.
The Bills, Sabres, and PSE are all part of this U.N. working group.
"My family and I are determined to discover innovative ways to pull our communities up not by the proverbial bootstraps, but by the heartstrings of the countless loved ones who have fallen before us. Heartstrings that inextricably tie us to this cause. But we know we need you. We need all of you. These United Nations, the athletes, the sports teams, and leagues, your voice matters perhaps more than you can know," Whitfield said.
The group will keep meeting as the plan evolves and more groups get on board.