US men’s soccer team calls for Congress to address gun violence

The U.S. men’s national soccer team (USMNT) is calling on lawmakers to address the scourge of gun violence in the wake of the recent string of mass shootings in the U.S. 

In a letter sent on Sunday, USMNT players and staff called on Congress to vote for gun reforms, noting that most of them play professionally overseas and are often asked why America can’t take any action to address this issue. 

“As athletes who have the privilege of traveling the globe representing the greatest country in the world, we are often asked how in a place like the United States there can be such horrific gun violence. We are also asked why the representatives of the people do nothing even though most Americans want them to take action,” the letter reads. 

“Those of us who play professionally abroad experience none of these things in our daily lives, yet we return home to a place where mass shootings are frighteningly common and the victims are often defenseless children.” 

The USMNT also said in its letter that gun violence has created a mental health strain on children, parents, and educators who wonder if they or someone they love will be the next victims of mass shootings. It added that not using their platforms on this issue would be “irresponsible,” saying that it is only talking about this issue due to lawmakers’ neglect of the matter.

“Our ability to affect change is limited, but yours is not. You could vote this week to address gun violence in America, and in fact, you will be given that opportunity. In the coming days, the U.S. House of Representatives is voting on several bills that would address this serious issue,” the letter added. “Please vote yes on all the bills being considered.”

The letter comes as the U.S. has seen a recent wave of mass shootings in the past few weeks, with major incidents occurring in Uvalde, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Philadelphia. 

President Biden pleaded to Congress last week to address this issue urgently, asking them to pass laws expanding background checks, implementing a national red flag law system and banning assault rifles. 

A bipartisan group of senators has already started discussions on creating gun reform legislation in response to the mass shootings. 

Other professional sports teams and leagues such as the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles have also used their platform to call for gun reform.