On July 4, America saw another mass shooting during a parade in Highland Park with seven deaths reported so far. LA Galaxy player Sacha Kljestan has joined several other American footballers in calling for reform of gun laws in the United States.
Kljestan made his first appearance in nearly seven weeks on Monday as the Galaxy won 4-0 against CF Montreal, but the comeback and victory were overshadowed by the heavy news of another tragic mass shooting and more lives lost. Kljestan echoed the thoughts of many Americans when he spoke at his postgame press conference.
“I’m actually going to keep it very brief and not answer any questions about the game,” Kljestan said. “My stomach hurts about what happened in Illinois today. I think we need to talk about gun control. You can write about the game if you want, but I don’t give a fuck.”
The shooting in Illinois came just over a month after an elementary school was shot down in Texas, killing 19 children and two adults.
“Our kids get shot and we say ‘thoughts and prayers,’ and it doesn’t matter,” Kljestan said. “Then we talk about it on social networks, and it doesn’t matter. And then our government does nothing. And then someone gets shot again.
Kljestan is not alone in the world of American football, as the United States Men’s National Team has written a letter to the United States Congress urging them to pass all active gun control laws for review.
“Our ability to influence change is limited, but yours is not,” the letter read. “You could vote this week to fight gun violence in America, and in fact, you will have that opportunity.”
The United States men’s national team also wore orange armbands in a match against Uruguay, to raise awareness of gun violence and show support for reform. The Washington Spirit football team recently sported jerseys that endorsed Brady United, a nonprofit organization against gun violence.
“I don’t even know what to say. I am not a politician. But I am a human being,” Kljestan said. And my children… I fear for them when they go to school.
“It pisses me off. And I think if that doesn’t piss you off and you don’t want new gun laws in this country, then there’s something wrong with you.