The game of baseball took a backseat for a pair of rival teams who took the opportunity to encourage gun control and legislative action after the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, Texas, and elsewhere in the US.
Social media departments from the New York Yankees and AL East rival Tampa Bay Rays teamed up during their matchup on Thursday, May 26 to forego tweeting and messaging about their game, and instead used it to promote gun law reform.
“In lieu of game coverage and in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Rays, we will be using our channels to offer facts about the impacts of gun violence,” the Yankees' team posted online.
“The devastating events that have taken place in Uvalde, Buffalo, and countless other communities across our nation are tragedies that are intolerable.”
The Bronx Bombers topped the Rays 7-2, but it was their action on social media that took center stage during Thursday night’s game, not the play on the field.
“We all deserve to be safe - in schools, grocery stores, places of worship, our neighborhoods, houses, and America,” the Rays’ posted on Twitter. “The most recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde have shaken us to the core.
“This cannot become normal. We cannot become numb. We cannot look the other way. We all know, if nothing changes, nothing changes.”
During the game, the teams highlighted several disturbing facts, including the number of Americans killed with guns each day, those who are injured, the percentage of people impacted by gun violence, and the disproportionate ways that firearms impact communities of color.
Other sports teams and figureheads, including the Golden State Warrior head coach Steve Kerr and Miami Heat also have spoken out regarding gun reform in advance of their conference championship playoff games.
Heat PA announcer Michael Baiamonte called on the fans to call their state senators to demand support for commonsense gun laws. Watch the video of the announcement here.
“When are we going to do something?" Kerr stated during a pregame press conference that has since gone viral calling out lawmakers. "I'm tired. I am so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I am so tired of the, excuse, I am sorry, I am tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.