Social media users are propping up hockey sticks outside their doors in honour of the 15 Humboldt Broncos players and support staff killed in a disastrous bus collision in Saskatchewan.
Photos of sticks lined up outside people’s homes have been trending under the hashtags #PutYourStickOut and #SticksOutForHumboldt.
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The symbolic gesture has swept across North America following an emotional Sunday vigil at the Broncos’ home arena in Humboldt, where thousands turned out to mourn the 15 individuals who lived and breathed Canada’s most beloved sport.
- WATCH: Humboldt Broncos vigil
- WATCH: Parents of crash victim speak
- WATCH: Sheldon Kennedy offers support
TSN radio broadcaster Brian Munz appears to have popularized the stick trend by sharing a photo and message from one of his friends.
“Leaving it out on the porch tonight,” the text said, beneath a photo of a hockey stick. “The boys might need it… wherever they are.”
Got this text from a friend who I went to high school with in Humboldt.— Brian Munz (@BrianMunzTSN) April 9, 2018
Inviting you to do the same as we remember and send our thoughts to the #HumboldtBroncos.#PrayersForHumboldt #Broncostrong #Humboldtstrong #theSJHL #TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/HHwZyUZ5KG
Munz invited others to do the same, in a tweet that has been liked and retweeted thousands of times.
From the Trapp family. pic.twitter.com/GYJuPycl4d— Dougie Trapp (@steamer19) April 9, 2018
Leaving a stick on the porch tonight in support of the @HumboldtBroncos and in memory of @Adamherold10 - an amazing hockey player and young man we had the honor of billeting. #HumboldtStrong @BrianMunzTSN pic.twitter.com/qpDjZGQ0gS— Teena Monteleone (@TeenaMonteleone) April 9, 2018
Tributes have also been pouring in from the United States and elsewhere.
From the OC. Rest In Peace Boys pic.twitter.com/xnAIJqi54j— D Croston (@croston_d) April 9, 2018
It's 70 degrees in Florida, but it's hard to enjoy the warmth knowing how hard it must be in Humboldt. Sticks are out, lights are green, hearts are broken. Stay strong, Bronco Nation. #PutYourStickOut pic.twitter.com/Xeo6b32f1o— Mac D. Addy (@thoughtivity) April 9, 2018
The crash has touched the hearts of people around the world and generated a massive outpouring of sympathy in support.
A GoFundMe page set up for the families of the victims has raised more than $4.7 million since Friday, and messages of sympathy have continued to trend online under the hashtags #HumboldtStrong and #PrayforHumboldt.
Team captain Logan Schatz, 20, and teammates Jaxon Joseph, 20, Stephen Wack, 21, Adam Herold, 16, Logan Hunter, 18, Logan Boulet, 21, Parker Tobin, 18, Evan Thomas, 18, Conner Lukan, 21, and Jacob Leicht, 19, died as a result of the crash. Head coach Darcy Haugan, 42, assistant coach Mark Cross, 27, bus driver Glen Doerksen, 59, radio broadcaster Tyler Bieber, 29, and statistician Brody Hinz, 18, were also killed.
Fourteen others were injured.