WASHINGTON (WFLA) – A Major League Soccer star celebrated scoring a goal over the weekend by calling on lawmakers to do something about gun violence.
Alejandro Bedoya, captain of the Philadelphia Union, scored a third-minute goal on Sunday in a game against D.C. United. The game was played at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.
After scoring, the 32-year-old midfielder celebrated quickly with his teammates then ran over to a boom mic on the field and delivered a passionate message to lawmakers.
“Hey Congress, do something now,” Bedoya yelled into the mic. “End gun violence, let’s go.”
His comments came after two mass shootings left a total of 30 people dead in Texas and Ohio this weekend. The death toll in Saturday’s shooting at an El Paso shopping center raised Monday to 21 after a victim died in the hospital. Nine people were killed at a bar in Dayton, Ohio about 13 hours after the El Paso, Texas shooting.
In a post-game press conference, Union coach Jim Curtin told reporters he was on Bedoya’s side, according to a video posted to Twitter by ProSoccerUSA.com reporter Joe Tansey.
“It’s outrageous, things need to change in this country for sure and I’ll support anyone who speaks their mind and is intelligent and informed on it every time,” Curtin said.
Bedoya also received support from the executive director of the Major League Soccer Players Association.
“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.” Bob Foose said in a statement on Twitter. “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.”
Bedoya was born in New Jersey but grew up in Florida – just 15 minutes from Stoneman Douglas High School. After 17 people were shot and killed at the school last year, Bedoya wore an undershirt that said “MSD STRONG” to show his support for the families impacted by the shooting.
He has played for the Union since 2016. He’s also made 66 appearances for the United States Men’s National Team since 2016, appearing in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The Union went on to win the game against D.C. 5-1.