Philadelphia Union Captain speaks out against gun violence

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya used his goal celebration Sunday to call for elected leaders to act on gun violence after mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

The Union played D.C. United in Washington, D.C., less than two miles from the Capitol building.

After Bedoya scored, he ran to a television microphone on the field and shouted into it.

"Hey Congress! Do something now. End gun violence, let's go!" Bedoya exclaimed.

Before the game, Bedoya had tweeted about gun violence. He said after he scored, he made the split-second decision to say something then and there .

"It's absurd, man. I'm not going to sit idly and watch this stuff happen and not say something. Before I'm an athlete, before I'm a soccer player, I'm a human being first, and this stuff affects me," Bedoya told reporters after the game.

He added, "I'm dropping my kids off at school paranoid, thinking about exit strategy - when I'm at the mall, when I'm at the movie theater, when I'm at a concert, or the festival down the street."

Bedoya noted he grew up in Florida and played some high school games against Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where 17 people were killed.

"It has gotten to the point where we've almost become numb to it, and that's a big problem," Bedoya explained.

He also relayed, "I had a conversation with a friend's father that laws aren't going to do anything - these crazies are still crazy and criminals are going to break laws. Well, by that logic let's not have any laws."

Head coach Jim Curtin voiced his support for Bedoya's comments.

"A lot of people will tell me now and tell Ale to shut up stick to sports and all those stupid lines that come up, it's crazy. It's crazy in our county right now, and I think it needs to change as well," Curtin said.

MLS Player's Association Executive Director Bob Foose released the following statement on Twitter:

"On this tragic weekend, on behalf of all MLS players I want to express my full support for @AleBedoya17's exercise of free speech. To paraphrase his post-game comments, before our members are soccer players, they are people. Ale poignantly voiced what so many Americans are feeling right now, which is enormous frustration at our elected leaders' failure to act to protect their citizens."
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