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Alejandro Bedoya is named MLS player of the week after in-game call for gun control

Philadelphia Union v DC United
Philadelphia midfielder Alejandro Bedoya celebrates after scoring against D.C. United on Aug. 4, 2019 in Washington. (Photo by /Getty Images)
(Patrick McDermott / Getty Images)

The day after he made an impassioned plea for gun control in the middle of a nationally televised soccer game, Philadelphia Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya was named the MLS player of the week.

Bedoya scored during the third minute of his team’s eventual 5-1 win over D.C. United. During the ensuing celebration, the 32-year-old veteran of the U.S. national team rushed to an on-field microphone and shouted, “Congress, do something now. End gun violence!”

He was responding to mass shootings this weekend in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, that left 31 dead.

“I’m not going to sit idly and watch this stuff happen and not say something,” Bedoya said after the game. “Before I’m an athlete, before I’m a soccer player, I’m a human being first.”

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Bedoya’s words could not be heard at Audi Field, but they came through loud and clear on the FS1 broadcast of the game. The North American Soccer Reporters acknowledged that overwhelming fan support for Bedoya’s statement factored into his selection as player of the week.

Also on Monday, league officials determined Bedoya would not be disciplined for his actions.

Crikey! That was unnecessary

The Miami Marlins were understandably frustrated Sunday after getting swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in a two-game series to drop to 25 games under .500.

But that was no reason to drag the late Steve Irwin into the mess.

The two teams had been engaging in a lighthearted back-and-forth all weekend on social media. Some misguided soul who had the keys to the Marlins’ Twitter account somehow thought they’d get the last word by invoking the 2006 death of TV’s most popular crocodile hunter.

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“yOU’RE LITERALLY THE ANIMAL THAT KILLED STEVE IRWIN LOG OFF,” the Marlins account tweeted.

Irwin died in 2006 after being attacked by a stingray. The Marlins issued an apology Monday morning and indicated that the matter had been handled internally.

“This was a regrettable exchange by our otherwise creative social media team,” the organization stated. “Unfortunately, in this medium, sometimes we swing and miss, and this was definitely a miss.”

Phuture phree agent?

The Phillie Phanatic is an excellent dancer. He has a great sense of humor (although men with bald heads or people who don’t like having popcorn dumped on them might disagree). He’s popular with the ladies. And no one can handle an ATV or hot dog cannon better than him.

But how is the large, fuzzy, green, pear-shaped creature with an anteater’s tongue at pitching in the late innings?

That’s something the Dodgers might want to find out, since the Philadelphia Phillies’ longtime mascot could be hitting the free-agency market next summer.

The Phillies filed a federal lawsuit in Manhattan last week to prevent the company that developed the Phanatic’s costume from backing out of a 1984 agreement that transferred the rights of the wildly popular character to the team “forever” for $215,000.

According to the lawsuit, Harrison/Erickson Inc. sent the team a letter in June 2018 stating its intention to “make the Phanatic a free agent” after June 15, 2020, unless the contract is renegotiated. The documents say H/E is looking for “millions of dollars.”

Neither Harrison/Erickson nor the Phillies have commented on the dispute. True to his nature, the Phanatic also hasn’t discussed the matter.

The right decision

The Capital Gazette commended the Navy football team’s decision to drop “Load the Clip” as its motto for the 2019 season.

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The Midshipmen play their home games about three miles from the Annapolis, Md., newspaper’s office, where a shooter killed five staff members on June 28, 2018.

“We must applaud the decision by the Naval Academy and its football team to change the motto for this season from the gun-glory image initially adopted to a more traditional message about victory,” the Gazette’s editorial board wrote Sunday, two days after Navy announced its new team slogan would be “Win the Day.”

“It’s clear the midshipmen responsible [for creating the initial motto] did not see the connection between ‘Load the clip,’ a reference to ammunition magazines and a readiness to keep firing, and the gun violence that is tearing this nation apart.”


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