On Monday, Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy faced off against CF Montreal. After the game, veteran Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan came into the press room, sat down in front of the microphone, and said he would be keeping his comments and appearance “really brief” because he didn’t plan on answering any questions about the game. That elicited laughs from the reporters on hand, but the California-born Kljestan wasn’t making jokes.
“I’m not joking. I’m sick to my stomach about what’s happened in Illinois today, and I think we need to talk about gun control,” Kljestan explained. Earlier in the day, six people were murdered and dozens others injured after a gunman opened fire at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
“You guys can write about the game if you want, but I don’t really give a shit. It’s a sick, vicious cycle that keeps happening over and over, and we’re doing nothing about it, and it makes me sick.”
It wasn’t a long speech, and Kljestan articulated himself about as well as anyone can after demanding over and over again that our elected officials do any of the things the majority of Americans want done to create better gun safety laws.
Kljestan went on, “I don’t know, Congress, senators, if anyone sees this, do something. Our kids get shot up and we say ‘thoughts and prayers,’ and it does nothing, and we talk about it on social media, and it does nothing, and then our government does nothing, and then someone gets shot up again.” The professional soccer player said he isn’t a politician but he is a human being with his own children, children he sends off to school every day. It makes it nearly impossible for him to think about sports or anything else when he sees the gun violence crisis our country has been facing for decades.
And Kljestan is angry. We are all angry. Assholes who hide behind Don’t Tread on Me flags and think being able to murder raccoons from your porch without any skill whatsoever constitutes patriotism and freedom aren’t the only ones who can be angry about how poorly our country is being run. “My kids, I fear for them when they go to school, and it pisses me off, and if it doesn’t piss you off, if you don’t want new gun laws in this country, then there’s something wrong with you. I guess that’s all I have to say.”
He then took a nice broad swipe at the current Supreme Court’s decisions to take away the majority of Americans’ rights, and how “ridiculous” it is that they continue to make decisions that contradict the majority of Americans’ will. One reporter asked Kljestan if he had had this conversation with his own kids.
“Yeah, it’s sick. They tell me they practice at school for if there is a shooter to come in. It’s sad.” He then thanked the reporters and left.
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