Major League Soccer will not punish Alejandro Bedoya for using an on-field microphone to implore Congress to “end gun violence” during the Philadelphia Union’s Sunday-night match against D.C. United at Audi Field.
The league office released a statement saying “The Major League Soccer family joins everyone in grieving for the loss of lives in Texas and Ohio, and we understand that our players and staff have strong and passionate views on this issue.”
— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) August 5, 2019
Bedoya’s message came in the third minute of the Union’s 5-1 victory over D.C. United after he scored the opening goal for the first-place side in the Eastern Conference.
“Hey Congress, do something now. End gun violence,” Bedoya said.
After the game, Union coach Jim Curtin supported his player’s action, saying, “Things need to change in this country, for sure, and I’ll support anyone who A. speaks their mind and B. is intelligent and informed on it every time. That’s what Alejandro is.”
MLS Players Association president Bob Foose also released a statement Sunday night in support of the 32-year-old midfielder.
“On this tragic weekend, on behalf of all MLS players I want to express my full support for @AleBedoya17’s exercise of free speech,” read the statement released on Twitter. “To paraphrase his post-game comments, before our members are soccer players, they are people.”
Statement from MLSPA Executive Director Bob Foose:
“On this tragic weekend, on behalf of all MLS players I want to express my full support for @AleBedoya17’s exercise of free speech. To paraphrase his post-game comments, before our members are soccer players, they are people.”
— MLSPA (@MLSPA) August 5, 2019
In the hours since Bedoya made his comments, current and former teammates took to social media to support the stand he took following two mass shootings within 13 hours of each other in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
Union teammates Marco Fabian and Mark McKenzie, among others, showed their support on social media.
“I’m so proud of my bro and I support what he say[s]. Please stop the gun violence,” Fabian wrote.
Mark McKenzie and David Accam also publicly showed their support for Bedoya on Instagram pic.twitter.com/RFmLfzSQKS
— Joe Tansey (@JTansey90) August 5, 2019
United States President Donald Trump addressed the nation Monday about the shootings, which collectively took the lives of at least 31 people and injured 50 more.
“This morning, our nation is overcome with shock, horror and sorrow,” Trump said before outlining his plan to deter future mass shootings. “This weekend, more than 80 people were killed or wounded in two evil attacks. These barbaric slaughters are an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation and a crime against all of humanity.
“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hatred has no place in America. … We vow to act with urgent resolve.”