In 2005, Christopher Rose was one block away from his family’s house in Brooklyn when he was attacked by a gang of boys who demanded his friend’s i-Pod. When the group of boys refused, they were pursued by the gang. Eventually, the gang caught up with Christopher and his friends, and Christopher was killed.
Today, in his memory, a special soccer tournament called Soccer for Harmony is held in his name, with Christopher’s father as one of the organizers. Yesterday, the tournament was, once again, held to promote harmony in the historically divided and challenging neighborhood. Last year, the Crown Heights Caribbean soccer players were defeated by an Orthodox Jewish team from Mendy’s Deli on Eastern Parkway.
Yesterday, in a heated rematch, the teams met up again – and the Crown Heights Caribbean players vowed to be more on their game. Indeed, they ended up winning 4-2. Reflecting on the competition that took place last December, Frank Nicholas, the coach of the Caribbean team, said, “We never heard of them being involved in soccer. We figured it might be an easy game. We figured they’re probably not as good. But we got surprised.”
In the spirit of what Soccer for Harmony is trying to achieve, the coach said,
“My guys can learn a lot from them.”
The original tournament, held last December, was launched by Seeds in the Middle, a nonprofit that benefits kids in a vast array of ways. As Brooklyn Crown Heights Eagles coach Josef Cabral said,
“They both love soccer. That’s one of the things that can bring them together. They’re different, but that’s one thing they have in common.”
The teams were ready for a fierce competition, but with the philosophy behind Seeds in the Middle, and with the memory of Christopher Rose, on the field with them.