Orlando City soccer stars played their first game in the club’s new stadium on Sunday, and supporters at the big event took the time to honor the victims of last year’s massacre at Pulse nightclub.
Fans unfurled a giant tifo in the stadium before the game started that depicted three Greek gods, including Aphrodite. It was that image of the goddess of love that contained a subtle, but poignant nod to the 49 people who lost their lives in the horrific attack.
“If you looked really closely, Aphrodite’s hair was a rainbow,” Eric Clinton told the Orlando Sentinel about the canvas he helped create. “It was kind of a tribute to the community and the Pulse incident. We wanted to try to incorporate that as much as possible.”
The team revealed earlier this year that the new stadium also contains 49 rainbow-colored seats to represent each victim of the deadly mass shooting. The seats were sold to season ticket holders in the hopes that they would be filled every time the team has a home game.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) January 4, 2017
“We made a commitment,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins, “which is that we would commemorate, forever, in the new stadium a memory of the 49 victims that lost their lives that day.”