Suffolk soccer tournament celebrates diversity

Dozens of people came together in Suffolk County Saturday to play soccer in the name of diversity, seven years after a hate crime rocked the community.

Dozens of people came together in Suffolk County Saturday to play soccer in the name of diversity, seven years after a hate crime rocked the community. (8/8/15)

MEDFORD - Dozens of people came together in Suffolk County Saturday to play soccer in the name of diversity, seven years after a hate crime rocked the community.

The Play for Peace Soccer Tournament was created back in 2009, following the 2008 death of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero. Lucero was stabbed to death in Patchogue by a group of teens who were sentenced to prison time for the hate crime.

Organizers of the soccer tournament say it has grown each year as it celebrates diversity and tolerance.

"I think Long Island needs something like that, needs people to encourage them to (get) along, just to play. I think Long Island has to do that," says Joselo Lucero, the brother of the hate-crime victim.

This year there were 12 teams and more than 200 players. The event also raises money for the Patchogue Medford Library.

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