Stick to sports? That’s not in the cards for Alejandro Bedoya. Not now, not ever.
Activism is a responsibility the Philadelphia Union captain has taken seriously throughout his professional career. That was on display last season at Audi Field, when immediately after scoring, he yelled, "Hey Congress, do something now, end gun violence," into a field mic.
The comment came in the wake of separate mass shootings in El Paso, Tex. and Dayton, Ohio.
On ESPN's SportsCenter: The Return to Sports special Monday night, Bedoya explained, in detail, why amplifying his voice is so important.
“I’ll never stick to sports. I’ve said it often before, I’m more than an athlete. I’m a human being. I’m a father. I’m a husband. A community member here in Philadelphia where I live. A neighbor.
So I’ll never just stick to sports. And we’ve seen over a number of years athletes bring an activism and awareness to social injustice and to many, many, many different issues that impact them," said Bedoya.
"Everything that’s happening around us in this country with politics and policies — those are things that affect me, my family, my friends, my neighbors and my teammates. So I’ll never just stick to sports. In the same way some of these negotiations can be tough, there are probably some people saying ‘stop whining. Entertain me. Entertain us.’ But like I said, I’m not a robot. I’m a human being that has emotions and feels things. I have a platform as well and I’m going to use it.
I want to leave people with this: I listen to a lot of music. It’s meditating. It’s nice to hear some of the lyrics and it’s very powerful. And I thought this song by Leon Bridges titled ‘That was Yesterday.’ It goes ‘Yesterday no one was listening. Today is going to be different. You couldn’t hear my voice under the surface. That was yesterday.’ So I think that’s a very powerful statement and it gives me a sense of optimism and hope for the future that things will get better.”