Americans across the country were horrified on Sunday at two mass shootings 13 hours apart in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. They were the 249th and 250th mass shootings in the United States in 216 days.
The tone at Audi Field in Washington, D.C., however, was jovial as Philadelphia Union soccer team captain Alejandro Bedoya scored a goal against home team D.C. United.
The achievement didn't stop Bedoya from demanding that Congress act on the American epidemic of gun violence. While celebrating, Bedoya grabbed a field microphone and shouted for Congress to do something to "end gun violence."
Philadelphia Union soccer player Alejandro Bedoya scores a goal in tonight's game against D.C. United, runs over to… https://t.co/RBAEazRSi3— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1564966232.0
"Hey, Congress, do something now. End gun violence. Let's go!"
Bedoya's use of his platform during a nationally televised game to call attention to gun violence and Congress's inaction on it was commended by many, including Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin.
Jim Curtin on Alejandro Bedoya: “I’m on his side.” https://t.co/vU2zI1gcuP— Joe Tansey (@Joe Tansey)1564970353.0
Curtin stood by Bedoya's comments, saying:
"Look, I'm on Alejandro's team in the Philadelphia Union, and I'm on Alejandro's team in support of his comments on gun control. Again, 250 shootings this year. I'm on his side. It's outrageous, things need to change in this country for sure."
Bedoya is far from the only one calling on Washington to take immediate action on gun violence.
Several Democratic presidential candidates and lawmakers are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to end the August recess for an emergency vote to curtail the epidemic.
Mr. President: It's not about what you say. It's about what you do. Stop your hatred, divisiveness and anti-immig… https://t.co/XxNL8MD3hf— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders)1565025358.0
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act passed the House in February—but it hasn’t even received a hearing in the Sena… https://t.co/atUznbYTPh— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1565023113.0
Two background check bills have already passed the House. The Senate has an opportunity to pass them—but Mitch McCo… https://t.co/VA8LUngetK— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1565027757.0
This is a national crisis. Mitch McConnell needs to bring the Senate back from recess right now and hold votes on l… https://t.co/FyB3hNwUhk— Cory Booker (@Cory Booker)1564945534.0
What Congress can do about exploding white supremacist terrorism: pass gun safety laws, name WS as terrorism in sta… https://t.co/zfhe7jgeFQ— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1565022613.0
However, @SenateMajLdr has called himself the ‘grim reaper’ and refuses to act on this bipartisan legislation. It i… https://t.co/ojEI4x5hko— Nancy Pelosi (@Nancy Pelosi)1565020814.0
To @SenateMajLdr McConnell, we say: #EnoughIsEnough Stop blocking gun safety reforms over 90% of Americans suppor… https://t.co/0rs6s0OwoK— Chuck Schumer (@Chuck Schumer)1564973279.0
As for Bedoya, Americans were cheering for more than just his goal.
@kylegriffin1 Thank you Alejandro Bedoya!!!— Blue Bee (@Blue Bee)1564966320.0
@kylegriffin1 That is a leader.— 🦑No Squids Go Pro🦑🦑🦑🦑🦑 (@🦑No Squids Go Pro🦑🦑🦑🦑🦑)1564966390.0
@kylegriffin1 I literally get chills listening to this. People of influence are using their platforms and demanding change.— Kris 💍 (@Kris 💍)1564973231.0
@kylegriffin1 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾Using your platform for the greater good.— maria fenton (@maria fenton)1564968728.0
@kylegriffin1 I have watched this 20 times now, what an incredible use of the moment.— 👹MrBlifil🤡 (@👹MrBlifil🤡)1564971502.0
We can only hope that voices like Bedoya's will finally compel Congress to act.