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Yankees, Rays use Twitter to highlight gun violence in lieu of game updates

The Tampa Bay Rays also pledged $50,000 to Everytown for Gun Safety's support fund.

WASHINGTON — Fans who followed Thursday's game between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays on Twitter didn't see play-by-play updates. 

Instead, the two teams used their platforms during the game to highlight gun violence statistics and facts as the nation continues to mourn the 19 children and 2 teachers killed at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school

"In lieu of game coverage...we will be using our channels to offer facts about the impacts of gun violence," the two teams said in a statement uploaded on their Twitter accounts. "The devastating events that have taken place in Uvalde, Buffalo and countless other communities across our nation are tragedies that are intolerable." 

The Rays additionally announced they would donate $50,000 to Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun violence prevention organization founded in 2013. 

"We all deserve to be safe -- in schools, grocery stores, places of worship, our neighborhoods, houses and America," a statement uploaded to the Rays' Twitter read. "The most recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde have shaken us to the core."

"This cannot become normal," the statement continued. "We cannot become numb. We cannot look the other way. We all know if nothing changes, nothing changes."

Some statistics that the teams posted include: How 110 Americans are killed with guns everyday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; that firearms were the leading cause of death for US Children and teens in 2020, according to the CDC; and how about 4,500 veterans die by firearm suicide every year, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

The Yankees won 7 to 2 on Thursday. 

Since the Tuesday massacre in Texas, professional sport teams and players across the nation have paid tribute to the victims and have U.S. leaders to adopt more stringent gun control legislation.

In one instance, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr appeared to hold back tears as he angrily called out officials for inaction over gun violence.

"I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there," Kerr said ahead of a game against the Dallas Mavericks. "I'm so tired. Excuse me. I'm sorry. I'm tired of moments of silence. Enough."

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