D.C. teams come together in support of Everytown for Gun Safety

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Seven D.C. professional sports teams on Friday announced a $85,000 donation to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control, in response to last week’s school shooting that claimed 21 lives in Uvalde, Tex.

“As we continue to feel horror, shock and outrage following last week’s events in Uvalde, Texas, the Washington Nationals are teaming up with the Washington Capitals, Commanders, Mystics, Spirit, Wizards and D.C. Shadow to call for an increased commitment to reducing gun violence in our region and across the country through common sense measures,” the Nationals said in a statement.

The D.C. Shadow is a women’s ultimate frisbee team in the Premier Ultimate League.

Nationals players and coaches will wear T-shirts with “Enough” printed in orange during warm-ups before Friday’s game at Cincinnati. The Mystics, a supporter of Everytown since 2019, will wear orange before Friday’s home game against the New York Liberty, as part of the WNBA’s leaguewide recognition of the gun control advocacy group’s annual Wear Orange Weekend.

In athletes’ forceful response to Uvalde, advocates see ‘a tipping point’

In addition to their monetary donation, the seven teams pledged to raise awareness about gun violence using their social media platforms, and are inviting fans to donate to Everytown’s Community Safety Fund.

Friday’s announcement is among the latest of many gestures and calls to action from teams and athletes in the wake of the Uvalde massacre. Four days after the shooting, five of Chicago’s professional sports teams announced a $300,000 donation to be split between the Robb School Memorial Fund, which benefits the Uvalde victims’ families, and Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit working to end school shootings.

After defeating Atlanta on the day of the shooting, the Mystics declined to talk about basketball. Instead, guard Natasha Cloud used her postgame availability with reporters to speak out about gun violence.

“This isn’t about taking people’s rights away from bearing arms,” Cloud said. “This is about putting sensible gun laws in so this doesn’t happen again. We cannot continue to make the same mistakes. We cannot continue to allow these things to happen in our country and nothing is being done with it for money, for profit. So I’m calling on everyone. Please put this out. Post it. Write to your not only local representatives but your federal representatives and tell them you are tired. Tell them that we are tired of lives being lost in this country for senseless [expletive]. It is time to implement gun laws and stop caring about profit and money over people and lives.”

Two days later, Cloud called on Capitals and Nationals players to use their platforms to discuss gun violence.

“I would like the Caps to step up,” Cloud said. “I would like other sports teams to step up. I would like the Nationals to step up. It’s time. It’s time that our white counterparts also step up. It’s not just us, Black athletes, that need to step up and use our voices. It’s also our white counterparts, our white male counterparts, too, since your voices are heard, mostly.”

Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle answered Cloud’s challenge last week. On Friday, his team and several others in D.C. joined the cause.



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