WASHINGTON -- After scoring the opening goal in the Union's game at D.C. United on Sunday, team captain Alejandro Bedoya took the opportunity to send a message 12 blocks up nearby South Capitol Street.
Bedoya ran over to a field microphone on the sideline and shouted: "Hey, Congress: Do something now! End gun violence! Let's go!"
The 32-year-old midfielder grew up in Weston, Fla., about 15 minutes from the site of last year's mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. In last season's opening game, played a few weeks after the incident, Bedoya wore a shirt with the message "MSD STRONG" under his jersey.
In 2019, there have been over 250 mass shootings in the United States, including this weekend in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.
Bedoya has long been as outspoken about politics as he has been about soccer. A son of Colombian immigrants, he called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Twitter in 2017, and in the same year took aim at President Trump's denigration of Muslims. Bedoya has also been a longtime champion of greater diversity in American soccer, famously clashing with U.S. women's team star Abby Wambach over the subject in 2015.
The Union's game at D.C. kicked off at around 7:50 p.m. Contributors to Bedoya's goal included goalkeeper Andre Blake, a Jamaican national team star who went to college in the U.S. at UConn; forward Andrew Wooten, a German-born son of an American serviceman; and midfielder Marco Fabian, a longtime star of Mexico's national team.
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