Players, coaches, clubs, and other stakeholders in Major League Soccer spoke up against this week’s terrifying and shocking school tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, in which an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 elementary school pupils and two instructors while injuring 17 more.
Most of the players, coaches, and clubs urged legislators to take action in the face of the increasing bloodshed caused by a variety of such acts across the United States.
“It’s a nightmare. Instead of pointing fingers, people ought to get off their asses and start doing something about it. During a Thursday media appearance, Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer remarked. “There’s got to be some common sense, OK-this is happening a lot, so solve it.”
“And that is a message to all the politicians out there. If politicians are unable to resolve the problem, we, as citizens, must vote out those who refuse to face it. What do you think because it was a disaster? It was dreadful, nasty, and depressing. This isn’t supposed to happen.”
Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei also spoke about the tragedy, particularly his childhood in Switzerland, where most houses have weapons due to the country’s mandatory military service regime, although gun violence rates are a fraction of those in the United States.
“I’m angry that we’re still in the same situation,” Frei stated on Wednesday. “It’s ‘thoughts and prayers’ every stinking time. To be honest, it doesn’t signify anything. It makes no difference. We need to take some concrete steps.
“We need to elect people who will do something about it. But those who have been elected to do something about it must also do something. It’s not a bribe to persuade people to vote for you more; it’s an invitation for you to go accomplish something. Don’t use this to enrage your base while putting the other base down. Because people are dying, use this to truly change anything. Kids are passing away.
The tragedy has struck close to home for Texas’ three MLS clubs, who have banded together with the Houston Dash of the NWSL to start the “United for Uvalde” project, which aims to memorialize the victims while also raising funds for their families and the community.
Matthew McConaughey, co-owner of Austin FC and “minister of culture,” is a Uvalde native who expressed his feelings on social media. Los Verdes, an ATX support group, is also running a fundraiser for the victims, which has so far earned more than $200,000 and counting.