Rays, Yankees use social media to spread gun violence facts

Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Ryan Yarbrough.
The Miami Heat made a statement urging fans to call lawmakers and demand change.

The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees used their social media accounts during Thursday night’s game between the teams to spread information about how gun violence affects American life.

The move was made in response to recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo. Several notable sports figures — including Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr — have used their platform over the past few days to plead for action to combat gun violence.

MLB’s social media accounts are usually used during games to show video highlights, relay baseball statistics or exchange witty jokes with other accounts about the action on the field. On Thursday, that was replaced by posts like “ Firearms were the leading cause of death for American children and teens in 2020.”

Both accounts then posted a link to the source of their information.

“In lieu of gave coverage and in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Rays, we will be using our channels to offer facts about the impacts of gun violence.” the Yankees said in a statement. “The devastating events that have taken place in Uvalde, Buffalo and countless other communities across our nation are tragedies that are intolerable.”

The Rays also released a statement, saying that the recent shootings “cannot become normal.”

“We all deserve to be safe — in schools, grocery stores, places of worship, our neighborhoods, houses and America. The most recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde have shaken us to the core. The Tampa Bay Rays are mourning these heartbreaking tragedies that took the lives of innocent children and adults.

“This cannot become normal. We cannot become numb. We cannot look the other way. We all know, if nothing changes, nothing changes.”

The Uvalde school shooting was particularly personal for Rays reliever Brooks Raley, who is from Uvalde and still has family who live in the town. He attended the school where the shooting occured.

The NBA’s Miami Heat also took a different approach to raising awareness and calling for change following the Uvalde shootings. Before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, the Heat held a moment of silence in memory of those who were killed — followed by a statement urging fans to call lawmakers and demand change.

“The Heat urges you to contact your state senators by calling 202-224-3121 to leave a message demanding their support for common sense gun laws,” public address announcer Michael Baiamonte read to the fans, some of whom broke into applause as he spoke.

The moment was also broadcast as part of ESPN’s telecast of the game.


Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • PeterH

    May 27, 2022 at 10:41 am

    If you sit by and do nothing ….. you are complicit in the next shooting!

    If you continue to vote for today’s Republicans…… you are complicit in the gun policies they create that are killing innocent Americans.

    Legislative change concerning guns will not happen under Republican leadership. These elected officials take their orders from the gun lobby.

  • Yesterday's hero

    May 28, 2022 at 9:02 am

    “if you sit by. . .” Baloney. Hysteria. You are no more complicit than you are complicit in the next DUI fatality in your town because you don’t demand bars close at 8 pm.
    “If you continue. . .” Mere histrionics from a known demagogue. Republicans have passed reasonable laws before. Both Gendron in Buffalo and Ramos in Uvalde would have been stopped if government had worked and the existing laws had been obeyed. You cannot rely on government, including the police, to defend you. You must defend yourself–from the likes of Peterh, among others.
    “Legislative change. . . ” Republicans believe in freedom, life, and the freedom of law-abiding Americans to choose their own means of self defense. It appears Peterh believes in none of these. Rather he and his Lincoln Project colleagues continue to spin their wheels advocating for the likes of Romney and Cheney and Bush.

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