THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Andrew Whitworth and most of his Los Angeles Rams teammates live within a few miles of their team’s training complex in Thousand Oaks. The Borderline Bar and Grill is only five miles south of their weekday headquarters in this placid suburban city.
The Rams all reacted with horror and sadness Thursday after a late-night mass shooting occurred about five miles north of their fields and training rooms.
“It’s gut-wrenching, and it’s emotional,” said Whitworth, who lives in Thousand Oaks with his wife and four children. “I was up at 3:30, 4 o’clock reading about it, and ended up waking up my wife and talking about it. It’s a hard reality. … The truth is that tragedy is everywhere, and you can’t escape tragedy. All you can prepare is how you’ll handle it and how you can approach adversity.”
Marine combat veteran Ian David Long opened fire Wednesday night at the country music bar a 10-minute drive from the Rams’ complex. He killed 12 people before apparently killing himself.
The Rams believe no one connected to their organization was at the bar, but coach Sean McVay and defensive co-ordinator Wade Phillips both described a sombre mood in the Rams’ locker room before practice. Whitworth addressed the players and began the process of coming up with a way to honour the victims.
The team will hold a moment of silence before its home game against Seattle on Sunday, and the Rams may organize additional tributes to the victims, McVay said.
“It was very heartfelt throughout the entire team,” offensive guard Rodger Saffold said. “We work here, and we spend most of our time out here. When …read more