Two of the most successful sports franchises this season used their platforms to highlight gun violence and efforts to prevent it on Thursday.
The Golden State Warriors encouraged fans to learn more about gun control efforts while the New York Yankees, along with their division rival Tampa Bay Rays, used Twitter to highlight gun violence statistics during a game.
The Warriors, who advanced to the 2022 NBA Finals on Thursday, held a moment of silence for victims of Tuesday’s shooting in Uvalde, Texas, prior to the start of their Western Conference Finals-clinching win against the Dallas Mavericks.
The team, which plays at the Chase Center in San Francisco, used their Jumbotron to urge fans to read up on “sensible gun legislation” from nonprofit groups Brady: United Against Gun Violence, Giffords and LIVE FREE.
A public address announcer, according to a clip shared on Twitter, also told fans “change begins at the ballot box” and encouraged them to register to vote.
The moment came just days after an emotion-filled speech from Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr who said “enough” to moments of silence.
He asked lawmakers to advance legislation that would expand universal background checks ahead of gun sales.
The New York Yankees, currently the top team in baseball’s American League, took to social media to highlight “facts about the impacts of gun violence” during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
Both teams agreed to tweet facts about gun violence instead of highlight players’ performances during the game, a rare move shying away from their normal use of the accounts.
The Yankees, during the game, highlighted statistics including the prevalence of domestic violence among U.S. women and firearm-related deaths in children and teens.
David Hogg, an activist and survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people, responded to the Yankees’ decision.
The Rays, on the other hand, uploaded an “End Gun Violence” Twitter banner and looked at statistics like the number of veterans who annually die by firearm suicide.
The team, in a tweet, also announced a $50,000 “commitment” to Everytown for Gun Safety’s Support Fund.
“We understand that no single organization can solve this crisis alone, but working together, we can make an impact,” the Rays said in a tweet.
“We invite you to join us and do what you can, when you can, where you can – because our lives depend on it.”
The Warriors, Yankees and Rays aren’t the only teams calling for changes in the wake of the Uvalde shooting.
The Miami Heat, before Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Finals match with the Boston Celtics, asked fans to call on lawmakers to pass “common sense gun laws” and register to vote, CNN reported.