The Saskatchewan Roughriders are showing their support for the Humboldt Broncos community.
On April 6, a bus carrying the team collided with a semi while on the way to Nipawin, killing 16 people.
Now, the Riders are showing their support by wearing the slogan “Humboldt Strong” on the white part of their helmets.
CEO and President of the Saskatchewan Roughriders Craig Reynolds said it was an easy decision because they wanted to show their support for the victims of the crash and the whole community of Humboldt.
“We want to show that community that they’re on our minds all season. In the past, at the helmet bumper, we had ‘Saskatchewan’ there and we thought it would be a nice tribute to have ‘Humboldt Strong’ there, really sort of signifying that the entire province is behind that community,” he said.
Being from Foam Lake, Reynolds grew up in the Humboldt area. He said everyone is connected in some way to the tragedy.
“I think I was like anybody in Saskatchewan, I really struggled and part of it was because I grew up very near Humboldt, had spent a lot of time there growing up,” Reynolds said.
He also spent a lot of time on team buses growing up and is a sports dad himself.
“My day-job here as a president of a sports team … that’s obviously your worst nightmare to have something like that happen to your organization,” Reynolds said.
After hearing about the crash, Reynolds quickly reached out to the Broncos organization to offer whatever support the Riders could and promised the CFL team would be there for the long haul.
One way the Riders will offer support to the community is by hosting a barbecue and walkthrough in Humboldt on June 3.
Reynolds said this is unique for the team, but after the tragedy, he and head coach Chris Jones decided heading out to Humboldt was something they wanted to do.
“Sports is often a welcomed distraction and does help rally people together and bring people together socially and emotionally and really, that’s so consistent with our brand,” Reynolds said.
The Riders will also be hosting a “Humboldt Strong” game this season on June 30 when the team takes on Montreal.
Details of the game are expected to be announced while the team is in Humboldt on June 3.
“I don’t want to say too much … We really want that day to be around helping them to heal and that was a reoccurring theme, bringing them together and wrapping Rider Nation around that community and showing support for Humboldt,” Reynolds said.
The main goal is to show the province’s support to those affected by the tragedy.