The New York Yankees dedicated its Twitter account on Thursday night to share information about the impacts of gun violence.
The tweets came on the heels of a mass shooting in a Texas school on Tuesday that killed 19 children and two adults. Barely a week earlier, a gunman had opened fire on a Buffalo supermarket, killing 10 people. The Buffalo shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.
“In lieu of game coverage and in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Rays, we will be using our channels to offer facts about the impacts of gun violence,” a tweet from the Yankees reads. “The devastating events that have taken place in Uvalde, Buffalo and countless other communities is intolerable.”
The tweets contained facts about gun violence that cited where each piece of information came from, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has become deeply politicized since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Firearms were the leading cause of death for American children and teens in 2020,” one tweet read, directing followers to a link from the CDC.
“58 percent of American adults or someone they care for have experienced gun violence,” read another tweet, citing a 2018 poll from Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun control organization largely backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
While professional sports leagues have become more vocal about social justice issues, baseball teams have been slower to wade into the conversation. The NY Times noted last year, “While major league club owners are no different than their counterparts in professional basketball or football in being a largely Republican donor set, the demographics on the field are starkly different. The sport’s fan base is older and less racially diverse than basketball’s and football’s. The majority of major league players are white, and many trend conservative in their personal politics.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is from Buffalo, New York, has rolled out a series of actions in response to the recent shootings. Proponents of gun policy reform have long been frustrated with the inaction that has followed the outpouring of sympathies, which has become routine with each mass shooting.
The Yankees will also be focusing their attention on anti-gun violence initiatives in the Bronx, according to the Times. These efforts will be announced at their next home game on Tuesday.