Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya called on US Congress to “end gun violence” by shouting into a pitch-side microphone after scoring in his side’s win against DC United.
“Congress, do something now. End gun violence,” said Bedoya, 32.
The United States winger scored within three minutes as Philadelphia beat Wayne Rooney’s side 5-1.
Saturday’s shooting in a supermarket in El Paso, Texas, is believed to be the eighth deadliest in modern US history and the incident has renewed the debate about gun laws and the rights of gun owners in the US.
The Gun Violence Archive, which categorises mass shootings in the US as four or more people shot or killed, says there have been 251 so far this year.
President Donald Trump has said “hate has no place” in the United States, adding that “perhaps more has to be done” to prevent shootings.
“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 in a post-match interview.
“Before I’m an athlete and a soccer player, I am a human being, first. This stuff affects me, I have got kids, I can’t be the only one here, feeling the same way in this day and age, society.
“Something has got to be done, it has got to the point where we have become numb to it, that is a big problem.”
Bedoya grew up in Florida near Parkland, where 17 students were killed in 2018 in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
In his first game following the shooting, he wore a ‘MSD Strong’ shirt under his match kit to show support for affected families.