Sometimes our Player of the Weekend is simply a player who performs sensationally, perhaps scoring a hat-trick or simply standing head and shoulders above all others on the pitch.
But this weekend, our Player of the Weekend title goes to a player for his opportunistic, extra-curricular work in his goal celebration, as Philadelphia Union’s Alejandro Bedoya called for an end to gun violence in the United States. Shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio once again brought the nation’s gun laws into question.
And, like in any country, footballers are people with a platform as thousands crowd into stadiums to watch them play and many more watch from home across the world. MLS is growing by the season and, after scoring in Union’s 5-1 win over D.C. United, Bedoya took to the microphone to make his message heard by fans across the globe.
— Matt Bevan 🎙 (@MatthewBevan) August 5, 2019
The Flordia born player is Union’s captain and was vocal in support for families affected by a shooting in his own hometown last year. Bedoya’s efforts are beyond admirable and in a post-match interview, he was unsurprisingly asked about his actions.
“To see that happen again, it’s absurd, I am not going to sit idly and watch this stuff and not say something,” said Bedoya. “Before I’m an athlete and a soccer player, I am a human being, first. I have got kids – I can’t be the only one feeling the same way.
“Something has got to be done, it has got to the point where we have become numb to it, that is a big problem.”