Alejandro Bedoya woke up Sunday morning to the news of a second mass shooting in as many days. Hours later, the Philadelphia Union star had a message for any lawmaker who happened to be watching his team’s nationally televised game against D.C. United.
“Congress, do something now. End gun violence!” Bedoya shouted into a field microphone after scoring a goal in the third minute of the game in Washington. “Let’s go!”
Bedoya’s words could not be heard at Audi Field, according to the Washington Post, but they came through loud and clear on the FS1 broadcast of Philadelphia’s eventual 5-1 win over D.C.
Bedoya, 32, grew up Weston, Fla., about 15 minutes away from Parkland, where 17 people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on Feb. 14, 2018. He honored those victims by wearing an “MSD Strong” T-shirt under his jersey at the Union’s home opener weeks later.
Bedoya said a friend from back home encouraged him Sunday to use his platform to speak out for gun control. He got the opportunity early in the game.
“For me, to see that again happen this morning about another incident in two days — 30 people dead or something? — it’s absurd, man,” Bedoya said. “I’m not going to sit idly and watch this stuff happen and not say something. Before I’m an athlete, before I’m a soccer player, I’m a human being first.”
Union coach Jim Curtin said he had no problem with Bedoya’s actions.
“Things need to change in this country, for sure, and I’ll support anyone who speaks their mind and is intelligent and informed on it, every time,” Curtin said. “That’s what Alejandro is. He’s passionate, he cares, and again, it’s a real issue in our country now that needs change.”