Dear Members of the United States Senate and U.S. House of Representatives:
We are writing to join millions of people around the country who are asking a simple question: When are we going to do something about gun violence in America?
With legislation being considered in the coming days in the House and Senate, we implore you to stand with the majority of Americans who support stronger gun laws.
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. 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.
Those who have lost their lives to senseless gun violence – and their families and friends that are left grieving – are very much in our thoughts and prayers. But like the all-too-often moments of silence that we use at our matches to honor the victims, our thoughts and prayers won’t solve this problem. Beyond the death and crippling injuries, the gun violence causes so much more damage to the mental health of children, their parents, teachers, and all Americans who worry whether they or someone they love will be among the next victims of a mass shooting.
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. Please vote yes on all the bills being considered.
To members of the United States Senate – a small group of your colleagues from both parties are working to craft a legislative proposal that will need the support of 60 out of 100 Senators to pass. Please stand up and say you will vote yes on gun legislation, so that a bill can go to the Senate floor, and the House and Senate can then work together to finalize legislation that does more than the bare minimum and will bring about a meaningful reduction in gun violence.
There are those who say athletes shouldn’t get involved in issues that are deemed political. Certainly, we can all agree that the safety of the children in our country is a sacred responsibility that is shared by all of us. We believe it would be irresponsible not to use our platform to raise awareness and call for change. Our activism is borne out of necessity – we are talking about this issue because many of you refuse to take action.
Families in Uvalde, Texas, are in the process of burying 19 children and 2 teachers. Please stop choosing campaign contributions over kids’ lives. Stop being steered by some misguided notion that voting for gun reform legislation – or even refusing to talk about it in the first place – will get you voted out of office. Instead, do what is necessary to prevent this from happening again.
We ask all of you, as we ask ourselves every day as representatives of the U.S. Men’s National Team, to Be the Change.
The United States Men’s National Team Players and Staff