Philadelphia Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya scored a goal against DC United and then he grabbed a microphone on the side of the field and implored the US Congress to help end gun violence.
Long after the game was over, as ESPN reporter Clinton Yates put it, Bedoya’s activism was “the elephant in the room.”
Bedoya’s actions were probably a violation of MLS rules, but today the governing body has decided not to suspend or fine Bedoya for his unusual social stand.
Bedoya’s message was right on time and celebrated universally, in light of the 29 innocent victims that were massacred this weekend in senseless, mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.
Also, this isn’t something that’s out of character for Bedoya, who has long been recognized as an opinionated athlete who doesn’t just “stick to sports.”
Bedoya’s cry for Congress to ramp up its efforts to eliminate mass shootings in this country is another example of an athlete using their athletic platform to bring attention to some serious issues plaguing our nation.
Natasha Cloud, one of the WNBA’s rising stars promised a media “blackout” until Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and a D.C. Council member adequately respond to an episode of gun violence this week at Southeast elementary school. Since Trump was elected, went head up with Jemele Hill and Colin Kaepernick, then staged a Twitter-fueled character assassination war on women and people of color in sports, athletes across the country have been increasingly vocal about social issues.
According to Time.com, in 2019, at least 62 people have been killed in mass shootings. The Time defines mass shootings as ” a shooting at a public place in which at least three victims were killed.”
TIME notes that the numbers don’t reflect several other high-profile shootings this year, including the late-July shootings that killed two people at a Southaven, Miss. Walmart, or the shooting at Poway, Calif. Synagogue in April in which 60-year-old Lori Kaye was killed and three others were wounded.
In 2017, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting devastated the country and claimed the lives of 17 students and staff members dead.
A year prior, a deadly massacre in Las Vegas — the worst in US history — killed 58 people. Many of these killings were motivated by race and bigotry and families mourned as President Donald Trump refused to lash out at the white supremacists polluting this country.
Don’t forget the deadly 2018 Texas High School mass shooting in Santa Fe, that claimed 10 innocent victims.
In June, the Toronto Raptors victory parade became the latest venue scarred by gun violence as four people were injured and three suspects arrested. Clear signs that the sickness was spreading.
Yesterday morning President Trump finally condemned racism and white supremacy, live from the White House.
The President again tried to earn some brownie points with his critics. On the flip side, he also called for the death penalty to be reinstated and we know that such a punishment never benefits African-Americans, considering how they suffer from the highest rate of incarceration. But Trump’s words, whether genuine or forced, exemplifies the bi-partisan pressure that he and the Congress are facing on this issue of gun control.
Alejandro Bedoya should be commended as another concerned, social justice warrior doing his part to stop the suffering in this country and the senseless murders that have decimated communities and the spirit of American life.