Stick to sports? No one’s really sure what that means anymore and we probably never did in the first place. In the wake of the latest mass shootings in America (which will probably no longer be the latest by the time you read this) in El Paso and Dayton, the voices calling for someone in a position of power to do something…anything…are getting louder and louder. And the #StickToSports crowd isn’t going to like the way that voice keeps growing.
Sunday night in an MLS matchup between the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya scored a goal to put his squad up 1-0. He could have celebrated in any number of ways and no one would have batted an eye (especially since he’s male). Instead, after hugging his teammates, he ran over to a field mic to deliver a message that was heard loud and clear.
“Hey Congress, do something now! End gun violence, let’s go!”
Stunned, the announcers added “that was interesting” and that it “was unexpected,” clearly wanting to circumvent the political nature of the message. But there’s no denying the power of using that moment to speak up, regardless of whether or not others want to listen or engage with it.
For what it’s worth, MLS included Bedoya’s message in their official highlight of the goal, so clearly they’re going to let their players speak their mind on this issue, at least for now. He may still end up being fined based on how the rules are interpreted, even if the league is going to take advantage of the attention.