The LA Galaxy's 4-0 home win over CF Montréal on Monday night should have been cause for celebration, along with the rest of the United States as they were celebrating the nation's day of independence.
For Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan – credited with an assist in his first appearance since May 18 – the victory was the furthest thing from his mind.
Earlier in the day, at least six fatalities and dozens of injuries were reported in Highland Park, Illinois, after a gunman opened fire on a Fourth of July parade with what authorities described as a "high-powered rifle".
The shooting came just over a month after 19 students and two teachers were killed by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
"I'm sick to my stomach about what's happened in Illinois today, and I think we need to talk about gun control," Kljestan said after the match, while calling on elected officials to take action. "You guys can write about the game if you want, but I don't really give a s--t. It's a sick, vicious cycle that keeps happening over and over, and we're doing nothing about it, and it makes me sick.
" … Our kids get shot up and we say 'thoughts and prayers', and it does nothing, and we talk about it on social media, and it does nothing, and then our government does nothing, and then someone gets shot up again."
For Kljestan, the events in Highland Park, as well as Uvalde, brought to mind the safety of his own children.
"I fear for them when they go to school, and it pisses me off, and if it doesn't piss you off, if you don't want gun laws in this country, then there's something wrong with you," he said.
Check out his full statement below: