Speaking to reporters in the wake of Sunday's deadly mass shooting at a rural church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, San Antonio Spurs forward Pau Gasol said that America's gun regulations "need to be addressed."
"It’s anywhere — concerts, schools, churches, kids. I mean, it’s devastating. But it’s a reality that needs to be addressed," Gasol said before San Antonio's home game against the Phoenix Suns, per the San Antonio Express-News.
"I’m unaware of how or the powers behind the gun laws and gun organizations in this country, but you need to protect the innocent. It’s happened down the road. It could have happened to any of us. It could happen in the supermarket next time. It could happen anywhere. It’s gotten to a point that it’s really worrisome. Really worrisome,” said Gasol.
The Spurs held a moment of silence before tipoff at AT&T Center, located about 30 miles from Sutherland Springs. Gasol, 37, tweeted his "deepest condolences to the victims' families" a few hours earlier.
“I think anyone and everyone has to be concerned about your own well-being,” Gasol, who was born and raised in Spain, said. “Any person in this country has to be concerned. Things like this happen. Going to a concert, taking your kids to school, going to church. You name it. What can you do that you’re safe? I don’t know. Is a basketball game safe? I hope. Nothing has happened yet. I think there are measures of security that prevent that from happening. But what’s next? That’s what you have to wonder.
“It’s too repetitive. It’s not something every 20 years. It seems like it happens once every week or two weeks. At what point do we say enough? I don’t know. Again, I know it’s a delicate subject but I hate for innocent people to get killed and for families to pay that price and carry that burden for the rest of their life. It’s sad. It’s really sad. It needs to be addressed. I hope that it is. I hope we see change and progress to prevent this from happening so often.”
Following the game, which the Spurs won, coach Gregg Popovich said winning a basketball game "considering what's gone on today" is "pretty meaningless."
"When you think about the tragedy that those families are suffering, it's just inconceivable and impossible to put your head around," Popovich said. "So I think talking about basketball tonight is probably pretty inappropriate."