Players return for Juice Bowl after Thanksgiving shooting cut to - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Players return for Juice Bowl after Thanksgiving shooting cut tournament short

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Thanksgiving Day football tournament cut short by violence finished this weekend after the final game was canceled.

Seven people were shot and two men died after a shooting broke out not far from the field.

Players returned Saturday afternoon to finish the Juice Bowl in Shawnee Park.

Organizers rescheduled the game to send a message that violence would not end the traditions.

Men who played in the original Juice Bowl decades ago came back to watch and support the teams.

"This shows we can come together as a community and do something positive in the community with so much negative stuff going on today," said Wayne Simon, one of the original players in the tournament.

Neal Robertson, the President of the West Louisville Urban Coalition and one of the Juice Bowl organizers, was at the park when the shooting broke out and ran to the scene to help.  

“Some woman run over and she was just in shock, she just laid down right beside him and I’m like ma'am he’s dead. He’s dead,” said Robertson.  

Organizers say it was important to give players the chance to play the final game.

“Actually it wasn’t a tough decision. We start calling one another to make sure we all was on the same page and everybody was saying yes let’s do it,” said Robertson.

Police were at the game but there were no incidents in the park.

Tournament organizers say they plan to keep the Juice Bowl going for many years to come.

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