CARSON, Calif. – The tragic shooting in Highland Park on Monday drew reactions from many in the world of sports in Chicago, as seen by a number of condolences & calls to action by teams in the area.
But there was an athlete with no direct connection to the Chicagoland area who wanted to take his news conference in California to put the spotlight on what happened thousands of miles away.
LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan wouldn’t take any questions on soccer after his team’s 4-0 win over Montreal Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson on Monday. Instead, he talked about what happened in Highland Park and the continuing problem with gun violence in America during the length of hisnews conference.
“I’m not going to answer any questions about the game. I’m not joking,” said Kljestan. “I’m sick to my stomach about what’s happened in Illinois today. I think we need to talk about gun control. You guys can write about the game if you want, but I don’t really give a (expletive).
“It’s a sick, vicious cycle that keeps happening over and over, and we’re doing nothing about it, and it makes me sick.”
A father himself, Kljestan discussed his frustration with the lack of action from members of the government as major shootings continue to happen. This comes weeks after 19 students were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“Our kids get shot up, and we say thoughts and prayers and it does nothing, and then we talk about it on social media and it does nothing,” said Kljestan. “Then our government does nothing, and then someone gets shot up again. So it’s sick, it pisses me off, and I can’t even think about anything else but that.
“I don’t even know what to say. I’m not a politician but I’m a human being and my kids are…I fear for them when they go to school, and it pisses me off. I think if it doesn’t piss you off and you don’t want new gun laws in this country, then there’s something wrong with you.”