America is experiencing an uptick in mass shootings, and professional athletes are speaking up more and more. On Tuesday, Cincinnati Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow weighed in during his minicamp media availability.
Burrow, the new ambassador of “blue-eyed soul” in football, expressed his thoughts on gun control and what needs to be done to alleviate the issues in the country.
“You know — with everything that’s going on — if you’re not going to outlaw everything, you’ve got to at least make it harder to get all those crazy guns that everybody’s using.”
Burrow On Gun Control
Burrow confirmed that he favored stricter gun control reform. He also urged politicians to pass legislation making acquiring semi-automatic rifles more challenging.
“I don’t think you should be able to just walk in there and buy one. You’ve got to go through a rigorous process to be able to buy something like that, I think. Hopefully, the people that get paid to make those decisions figure that out. My job is to play football, but hopefully, the politicians can figure that out.”
A bipartisan group of senators on Sunday announced that they have a general agreement on gun control legislation. With a plan that “increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons,” the group is attempting to address the issue.
A Country In Crisis
The country is still reeling from a series of deadly shootings last month that made national headlines and shocked the country’s collective senses.
On May 24, an 18-year-old gunman shocked the world when he entered an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, with an AR-15-style rifle. He killed 19 students and two teachers in the rampage.
The horrific incident came ten days after a racially motivated attack occurred at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York. Ten people were killed, and three additional were injured in the attack that happened in the predominantly Black Buffalo neighborhood.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow speaks on the need for gun reform.
— NFL (@NFL) June 14, 2022
Sports Speaks Up
Sports teams and figures across all sports categories have expressed their concerns over the gun control problem, even across the border.
The Toronto Raptors started a petition to ask Canadian legislators to join the U.S. in observing the first Friday of June as National Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as Wear Orange.
Wear Orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves, and others observed every June to honor the more than 40,000 people killed with guns. Approximately 85,000 people are shot and wounded every year.
The Blue-Eyed Soul Factor
The Nationals, Houston Texans, and San Antonio Spurs are among the teams working with Everytown for Gun Safety for the first time this year; a movement of more than 8 million moms, mayors, survivors, students, and everyday Americans working to end gun violence.
The 25-year-old Burrow is in his third season in the NFL and coming off a successful 2021 season. His profile since helping lead the Bengals to Super Bowl LVI is raised substantially, and his pop culture factor is starting to rise.
Burrow has been compared to Joe Namath for his cool factor; using his platform to shed light and state an opinion on gun control may ostracize some of his fans, which is a significant play on its own.