12/14/2012 07:23 pm ET

LeBron James, Chris Kluwe, Nick Symmonds Among Athletes Reacting To Newtown Shooting

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School with their children following a shooting, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Ne
Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School with their children following a shooting, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT shocked the nation on Friday. As the horrific details of incident spread, many took to social media to send their condolences, express their grief and even vent their outrage that such senseless violence continues to plague society. Among those sharing their emotions and reactions to the news were prominent figures in the world of sports.

LeBron James, recently named the "Sportsman Of The Year" by Sports Illustrated, was among those sharing reactions to the news. As was the case for many parents, his thoughts went to his own young children.

Expressing a view shared by many, Mike Tirico of ESPN tweeted that this moment should be one for solidarity rather than division -- or sports.

ESPN posted an image on Front Row, its PR portal, of a flag being flown at half mast at the company's Bristol, CT campus. According to an email obtained by Deadspin, ESPN also instructed employees to not tweet about sporting events until Sunday and gave guidelines for acknowledging the tragedy during broadcasts.

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Coming in the same month as the murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, the incident in Newtown reignited the ongoing debate about gun control and gun culture. Commentary by Bob Costas during the episode of "Sunday Night Football" following the Belcher tragedy brought this conversation fully into the sports sphere.

Among the condolences sent and prayers offered, gun control was a topic of several tweets by athletes. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was also among those athletes trying to make sense of the shooting and the role that gun control will play in the conversations about it.

A divisive issue nationally, gun control is not surprisingly also a divisive issue among athletes, where gun ownership is an issue receiving much attention in the wake of the Belcher murder-suicide. As first reported by Peter King of Sports Illustrated, as many as seven NFL players turned in firearms recently.

This deadly incident of gun violence led U.S. Olympian Nick Symmonds, who tweeted that he "greatly values the 2nd amendment," to call for increased gun control legislation.

Former NFL wide receiver Bernard Berrian, on the other hand, did not seem to agree that gun control would help prevent incidents such as the one that claimed so many lives in Connecticut.

Here are several other notable reactions to the day's news from the world of sports.