MLS

I'm not going to sit idly and watch – Bedoya explains anti-gun violence stand

By Sports Desk August 05, 2019

Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya explained his stand against gun violence, labelling the situation in the United States as "absurd".

Bedoya opened the scoring in Philadelphia's 5-1 thrashing of 10-man DC United in MLS on Sunday and the midfielder took his chance to send a message to the nation's leaders.

Mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend resulted in the deaths of 29 people, sparking fresh calls for politicians to address the country's gun laws.

After scoring, Bedoya ran towards an on-field microphone and shouted: "Congress, do something now. End gun violence. Let's go!"

Speaking after the game, the 32-year-old said he wanted to take his chance to push for change.

"It's absurd. I'm not going to sit idly and watch this stuff happen and not say something," the former USA international told a news conference.

"Before I'm an athlete, before I'm a soccer player, I'm a human being first. This stuff affects me. I've got kids. I mean, I can't be the only one here... all you guys I'm sure feel the same way in this day and age, in our society.

"I'm dropping my kids off at school and I'm looking around paranoid, thinking about exit strategy, when I'm at the mall, when I'm at a movie theatre, when I'm at a concert, a festival down the street, big gatherings.

"Something's got to be done. It's got to the point where we've almost become numb to it and that's a big problem."

Bedoya is unfazed by the possibility of sanctions from MLS officials, saying he had to stand up for what he believed in.

"I don't care. Fine me if they want. I've got to make a stand. Like I said, I'm a human being before I'm an athlete, you know what I mean, and that should be everybody here," he said.

"We're all human beings, we're all affected by this type of stuff. I don't know about you but my kids man... it's scary, man, to think about what can happen at any time, right now, in this day and age, here in America."

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