(The Hill) – The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays skipped covering their game Thursday night on social media and instead used their accounts to raise awareness about gun violence in the aftermath of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday.
“In lieu of coverage and in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Rays, we will be using our channels to offer facts about the impacts of gun violence,” the New York Yankees wrote on the team’s official Twitter account. The post added: “The devastating events that have taken place in Uvalde, Buffalo and countless other communities across our nation are tragedies that are intolerable.”
A racially motivated mass shooting occurred earlier this month in the Yankees’ home state of New York when a white 18-year-old traveled to a heavily Black community in Buffalo and killed 10.
The Tampa Bay Rays also have a close tie with one of the recent shootings. Rays pitcher Brooks Raley hails from Uvalde, a small town of 16,000, where another 18-year-old gunman killed 21, including 19 children, this week. “It’s just a tragedy. Obviously growing up there and going to that school, it kind of hits home,” Raley said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. “It’s small and a close-knit community, so it’s obviously tough.” He added: “Having young children myself, you just feel for those families, and you pray for them and your thoughts are with them.”
“The most recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde have shaken us to the core,” tweeted the Rays’ official account Thursday night.
The Rays announced that their team organization made a $50,000 payment to Everytown for Gun Safety’s Support Fund in light of the massacres.
“Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in America. Rather than our usual game coverage on social media tonight, we’ve partnered with Everytown to amplify facts about gun violence in America,” the team wrote.
The post added: “We understand that no single organization can solve this crisis alone, but working together, we can make an impact. We invite you to join us and do what you can, when you can, where you can — because our lives depend on it.”