On Thursday night, at the start of the New York Yankees-Tampa Bay Rays series opener, both teams’ Twitter accounts decided to shift fans’ attention away from baseball and instead to the horrific tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, from earlier in the week.
In an occurrence that’s taken place all too frequently over the last two-plus decades in America, 19 children and two teachers were killed by an armed gunman (wielding an AR-15) on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School. The massacre has once again brought into question gun control laws in the United States, most specifically as it pertains to background checks and assault weapons.
The Rays announced they had donated $50,000 to Everytown for Gun Safety’s Support Fund. The Yankees opted to inform their 3.6 million followers about some notable statistics that prove gun reform should be atop the list of imminent changes the country’s top legislators are responsible for addressing.
It shouldn’t matter which side of the gun debate you’re on. Pleading for something as reasonable as background checks as well as getting certain war-like weapons out of circulation among everyday citizens shouldn’t spark a furious debate filled with hate and devoid of empathy.
So, yes, we understand the headline of this article is a bit counterintuitive. “Ignore the worst people attempting to make their voices heard” but also “Here’s how they inserted themselves into the Yankees’ approach of making the organization’s voice heard.”
In the end, the message that needs to be communicated here is these people (sadly) exist and it’s up to those truly passionate about gun reform to ignore ignorant after ignorant individual spewing dissenting viewpoints for no other reason than to be a sad contrarian with the belief that their “rights” are somehow at stake.
The Yankees used their Twitter account to address the school shooting in Uvalde
Anybody arguing against making society safer for citizens — especially children — doesn’t deserve a seat at the table — even if that table is the lowest form of Twitter mentions. Their lasting impact in this debate should be the most meaningless of footnotes in what will hopefully be a triumph for those championing stricter gun control.
The Yankees cited a number of statistics from the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, going straight to the source as to minimize debate and hostility. No sense in even engaging with people who try to belittle something like this:
Far too often the general public magnifies the hateful rhetoric from those who don’t possess an educated opinion, and that needs to stop.
Admittedly, the Yankees have been in the news a few times this year for the wrong reasons, but the organization has stepped up on both occasions — when fans threw trash at Guardians players and after Josh Donaldson inappropriately called Tim Anderson “Jackie” — with manager Aaron Boone as well as the players responding in a professional manner while expressing their disapproval.
So when their actions in response to the Uvalde tragedy got universal applause from many fans across the league, it’s clear they did the right thing — and those responses/praise are what we should focus on to push the productive discourse forward.