A pair of MLB teams are turning to their social media accounts to raise awareness of the effects of gun violence in the wake of the second-deadliest school mass shooting in the country.
The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays, teams facing off Thursday, posted that they would do this in lieu of game coverage two days after a shooter killed 21 people, including 19 children and two teachers, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
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“We all deserve to be safe — in schools, grocery stores, places of worship, our neighborhoods, houses and America. The most recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde have shaken us to the core. The Tampa Bay Rays are mourning these heartbreaking tragedies that took the lives of innocent children and adults,” the Rays said in a statement. “Rather than our usual game coverage on social media tonight, we’ve partnered with Everytown to amplify facts about gun violence in America.”
May 26, 2022
Additionally, the Rays donated $50,000 to the Everytown on Gun Safety Support Fund, one of the largest gun violence prevention organizations in the country.
The teams' social media accounts followed suit with tweets about guns.
Firearms were the leading cause of death for American children and teens in 2020.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 26, 2022
Beyond baseball, the Miami Heat urged spectators at the NBA team’s game against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday to call their state lawmakers and demand action on gun reform.
"Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends, and the entire Robb Elementary School and Uvalde community,” the team said in a statement. "The Heat urges you to contact your state senators by calling 202-224-3121 to leave a message demanding their support for common-sense gun laws."
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Some lawmakers denounced the move and accused the NBA of politicizing the mass shooting.
"The [NBA] doesn’t like to talk about the billions they make from China that enslaves Uyghur Muslims and harvests their organs,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Wednesday. “But they have no problem politicizing a horrific tragedy in America.”