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Parade In Toronto Celebrating Raptor’s First NBA Championships Draws 1.5 Million, Marred By Gunfire

Ever get the feeling that nothing good can last long? Some 1.5 million people gathered on the streets of Toronto on Monday to enjoy the parade honoring the Raptors...

(Photo Credit: Frank Gunn)

Ever get the feeling that nothing good can last long?

Some 1.5 million people gathered on the streets of Toronto on Monday to enjoy the parade honoring the Raptors and the NBA title they won last week.

So often a top contender, the Raptors broke through against the Golden State Warriors, defeating the two-time defending champions in six games and winning their first championship. A nation rejoiced and a parade was planned.
Could we simply have some joy and a party? No. The days of innocence are long gone.

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto Mayor John Tory, NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, and other Raptors players were standing on the stage, parade organizers made an announcement about an emergency and asked for calm.
The emergency? A shooting. Four people were wounded and three arrested. Investigations are continuing.

“It is disappointing and I’m sure a source of anger for more than just me that anyone would carry a gun and discharge it at what was otherwise a joyous celebration,” Tory said in a statement. “I hope those found responsible will be held to account to the full extent that the law permits. I want to commend and thank the millions of other people who happily and peacefully celebrated our beloved Toronto Raptors.”

No sports fan could have failed to appreciate what the Raptors achieved and the way their supporters rallied in Jurassic Park, partying outdoors and watching the games on a gigantic TV. It brought out the best of a community unifying behind its team.

Gunfire during the parade was a reminder that good feeling and lives are easily ruined, that violence lurks everywhere, that an element of danger exists in every large gathering (and plenty of smaller ones). If you prefer your celebrations to remain pristine, read about this one on NBA.com. The league’s website never mentions the shootings.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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