During a friendly soccer match against Uruguay on Sunday, the United States men’s national team wore orange armbands to raise awareness of gun violence and call on elected leaders in the United States to enact new restrictions on the possession of firearms.
In addition to the field display, the team also sent a letter to all members of Congress urging them to support tougher gun legislation following several recent mass shootings across the country. .
“Our ability to influence change is limited, but yours is not,” reads the letter from the players and staff. “You could vote this week to fight gun violence in America, and in fact, you will have that opportunity.”
The House is expected to consider a package of gun bills in the coming days, and a bipartisan group of senators are also negotiating potential gun legislation in this chamber.
The team’s protest came on a particularly violent weekend. At least 15 people have been killed and 60 others injured by gunfire across eight states, which closely followed two recent mass shootings in Buffalo, NY, and Uvalde, Texas.
The players wore orange as part of a national effort championed by the group Everytown for Gun Safety to raise awareness of ongoing gun violence across the United States. The vibrant color is a nod to the orange clothing worn by hunters to protect themselves and others in the woods. .
“Everyone is fed up. And it’s good that this group is asking for action and asking people to make changes,” said the United States men’s national team head coach. Gregg Berhalter said.
“It’s not just about the mass shootings that you see every day,” he added, “but it’s just about unnecessary gun violence and children and people dying every day. “