Alejandro Bedoya’s Call For Action On Gun Violence After Goal Resonates Across America
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Should Alejandro Bedoya just stick to sports? After an eight-day period which left 34 dead and 65 injured following a hailstorm of bullets aimed at people attending a garlic festival in Gilroy, shopping at Walmart in El Paso and enjoying a night out in Dayton, the 32-year-old Philadelphia Union midfielder felt like that was out of the question.
So after scoring the opening goal in Philadelphia’s 5-1 road victory over D.C. United on Sunday, Bedoya delivered a message via the pitch-side microphone that was heard loud and clear on FS1.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 5, 2019
“It’s absurd, man,” Bedoya told reporters after the match. “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. This stuff affects me. I got kids. I can’t be the only one here — all of you guys, I’m sure feel the same way.”
Bedoya grew up in Weston, Florida, which is a short distance from Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of a 2018 shooting that left 17 students and faculty members dead and a further 17 injured.
Asked if he feared any repercussions from his message, Bedoya replied, “I don’t care. Fine me if they want. You know what? I’ve got to make a stand. Something’s gotta be done. It’s gotten to the point where we’ve almost become numb to it, and that’s a big problem.”
Bedoya’s actions received the support of Union manager Jim Curtin after the game, as well as the MLS Players Association.
“A lot of people will tell me now and tell Ale to stick to sports and all the stupid lines that come up, but it’s crazy,” Curtin said. “It’s crazy in our country right now, and I think it needs to change, as well.”
According to the New York Times, Bedoya will not face a fine or suspension for his actions.