MLS understands Bedoya's anti-gun stance
Alejandro Bedoya made a statement during Philadelphia Union's win over DC United: "Congress, do something now. End gun violence. Let's go!"
MLS has backed Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya's stand against gun violence after he labeled the situation in the United States as "absurd" in the wake of mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
Bedoya, who opened the scoring in Philadelphia's 5-1 thrashing of DC United, took his chance to send a message to the nation's leaders.
After finding the bet, Bedoya ran toward an on-field microphone and shouted: "Congress, do something now. End gun violence. Let's go!"
"We understand that our players and staff have strong and passionate views on this issue"
In response, MLS released a statement that didn't mention Bedoya specifically but alluded to his actions: "The Major League Soccer family joins everyone in grieving for the loss of lives in Texas and Ohio, and we understand that our players and staff have strong and passionate views on this issue.”
The weekend shootings resulted in the deaths of 30 people, sparking fresh calls for politicians to address the country's gun laws.
Speaking after Sunday's game, Bedoya, 32, said he wanted to take his chance to push for change.
"It's absurd. I'm not going to sit idly and watch this stuff happen and not say something," the former USA international told a news conference.
"Before I'm an athlete, before I'm a soccer player, I'm a human being first. This stuff affects me. I've got kids. I mean, I can't be the only one here... all you guys I'm sure feel the same way in this day and age, in our society.
"I'm dropping my kids off at school and I'm looking around paranoid, thinking about exit strategy, when I'm at the mall, when I'm at a movie theater, when I'm at a concert, a festival down the street, big gatherings.
"Something's got to be done. It's got to the point where we've almost become numb to it and that's a big problem."
"I've got to make a stand"
By Monday, it was clear that MLS wouldn't punish Bedoya for his actions, a possibility that the player was unfazed by because, he said, he had to stand up for what he believed in.
"I don't care. Fine me if they want. I've got to make a stand. Like I said, I'm a human being before I'm an athlete, you know what I mean, and that should be everybody here," he said.
"We're all human beings, we're all affected by this type of stuff. I don't know about you but my kids man... it's scary, man, to think about what can happen at any time, right now, in this day and age, here in America."
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