LA Galaxy and former USMNT midfielder Sacha Kljestan gave an emotional press conference on Monday after his team’s 4-0 victory against Montreal on Monday. Kljestan wasn’t in the mood to talk about the game and instead spoke on the tragic shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, which killed seven people and injured dozens.
Kljestan made it clear that he wasn’t talking as a politician but as a human being and a father. He wouldn’t stay to answer questions after talking for roughly two minutes.
Sacha Kljestan Gun Violence Press Conference
Sacha Kljestan spoke on gun violence in the United States following tonight's match. pic.twitter.com/ZKMuTCQwJH— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) July 5, 2022
"I can't even think about anything else," Kljestan said. "I'm not a politician, but I'm a human being, and my kids, I fear for them when they go to school."
This in my mind is one of the best quotes from Kljestan. Just because an athlete speaks out on an issue like this doesn’t mean they’re trying to run some political campaign. He’s like anyone else in this country who prefers to not get shot when leaving his home.
Kljestan isn’t the first MLS player to speak out about gun violence. Three years ago, Alejandro Bedoya made his voice heard when he grabbed a pitch-side microphone and called on Congress to do literally anything.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 5, 2019
Kljestan definitely won’t be the last player to speak out about the plague of violence that seemingly only happens this often in the U.S. The definition of what counts as a mass shooting is often disputed, but there have been more than 330 incidents involving four or more people shot in 2022. There were 698 such incidents in 2021.