Michigan Shows Support For Rival Michigan State

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There’s never a whole lot of love between Michigan and Michigan State. But Saturday night was a different story.

Before the Wolverine and Spartan men’s hoops teams tipped off in Ann Arbor, Crisler Arena lit up green as a tribute to the three Michigan State students killed in a recent shooting.

A gunman opened fire on Michigan State’s East Lansing campus Monday night. He killed three and wounded five more before taking his own life.

The rivalry match up at Crisler Arena was the Spartans’ first game since the tragedy.

Michigan Shows Support For Rival Michigan State
Crisler Arena lit up green during a tribute to the students who passed away from a mass shooting at Michigan State University. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

Despite their differences on the court, the two schools came together to prove, once again, that some things are bigger than sports.

After the game, Michigan received high praise for the gesture.

The Michigan Wolverines won the game, 84-72. But basketball wasn’t necessarily the priority this week.

Even Michigan State coach Tom Izzo expressed his gratitude to Michigan for the love.

“You can hate your rivals — that’s the way it’s supposed to be — as long as you respect them,” he said. “And I think that anything they do, that we do, shows respect — respect for a lot of things, respect for schools, respect for human beings.”

MSU school officials made the call to resume athletic events this weekend.

The decision came after discussions with mental health professionals, university leadership, student-athletes and athletic department staff.

“Athletics can be a rallying point for a community in need of healing, a fact many of our student-athletes have mentioned to me. The opportunity to represent our entire community has never felt greater. I also recognize that everyone grieves in their own unique manner, and there are some who aren’t ready to return to athletic events. Those feelings are incredibly valid, and as Coach Izzo so eloquently stated last night, I hope that we will all focus on taking care of one another.”

Michigan State Athletic Director Alan Haller

While it shouldn’t take a tragedy to make it happen, sports can sometimes be the ultimate unifier.

Written by Amber Harding

Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.

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