The Charleston RiverDogs, the low Class A affiliate of the Yankees, say they will play their Thursday night game as planned, following the shooting death of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.
“We all personally feel the grief of the horrifying tragedy that struck our community last night,” RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols said in a statement. "Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims involved and with the law enforcement agencies working tirelessly in the wake of last night's appalling and shocking event."
Police say Dylann Storm Roof, 21, the man accused of carrying out the attack during a prayer meeting, was arrested Thursday morning in Shelby, N.C. According to police, Roof is suspected of walking into the prayer meeting Wednesday night, sitting down with black parishioners for nearly an hour, and then opening fire, killing nine people.
Echols said the team consulted with city officials before making the decision to go ahead with the 7:05 p.m. Eastern game against West Virginia, a Pirates affiliate. Proceeds from tonight's game will go into the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund, which was established by the city in the wake of this tragedy.
"We feel it is our duty not to let the acts of one radical human being dictate our lives," Echols said. "The RiverDogs will continue on as scheduled in hopes of providing a sense of normalcy and comfort to the Lowcountry. We understand the donation is a small gesture during this terrible time; one for the families of the victims, the church family, and the entire community."
Prior to Thursday's game, there will be a moment of silence to remember the victims.