How sports brings people of different backgrounds together

In the current climate where it can be tough to find common ground, sports is bringing people together like nothing else can. Fans from diverse backgrounds are brought together by their shared passion for the game - football, soccer, basketball or any other sport. Whether the athletes are amateurs or pros, the chance to play can change their lives.

Former 3 time NFL All Pro linebacker Keith Bulluck,  played for the NY Giants and the Tennesee Titans. He tells us playing youth football gave him continuity and community growing up in foster care. Bulluck became accustomed to American fans from his 11 years as a pro in packed stadiums, but was surprised by his sport’s popularity across language barriers in Europe.

"To hang out with people from Germany, France Italy, Russia, that are actually Titans fans, Giants fans, NFL fans, they love our game, It just goes to show how much growth and bandwidth the NFL actually has," says Keith Bulluck.

Watching sports together in a stadium or live on television can be a pleasant escape from the daily routine, but during a January 2nd Bills vs. Bengals game, it became an unexpected life-threatening scene.

Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after a tackle, then collapsed on the field. He was given CPR and revived as hundreds of thousands of worried fans hoped and prayed he would make it. Now he is on the road to recovery.

Greg Bishop, Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated, tells us, "To me it was heartwarming in a few ways on the back end. You saw coaches from both teams meet on mid-field and decide the game couldn’t continue. You saw people across the world really take up for him and his family and support them, and you saw an outpouring afterward that I think was also without precedent."

The Founder and CEO of the youth football program, the Harlem Jets, Jamel Wright, says sports is a positive force in bringing children and teens together, and squashing neighborhood rivalries. Lessons are learned on the field, and just getting there.

"I think because of the connectivity that’s created with the result of being on the team, I may not like you. I may live in an area where those guys don’t like those guys, but because we’re teammates it gives me a pass. So a guy that might live in West Harlem can now come to East Harlem because he plays on the Harlem Jets," says Harlem Jets Founder and CEO, Jamel Wright. 
We take a closer look at the connection between "Sports and Unity" on our next episode of Street Soldiers. I hope you'll join us Friday night at 10:30p ET on FOX 5 in New York City and 
the Tri-state, and via live stream everywhere in the United States on the free FOXNY app and