Game On, Washington! Examining American Sport’s Response to the Uvalde Massacre
Keywords:Activism, Athletes, Gun Violence, Social Construction, Social Equity
On May 24, 2022, a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. In the aftermath, stakeholders within and across sports came together to call for political action around gun control. These included individual athletes (e.g., Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics and DeMarcus Lawrence of the Dallas Cowboys), as well as coaches (e.g., Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs and Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors). In addition, the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees coordinated their Twitter feeds to focus on gun violence statistics during a game, and the Miami Heat’s public address announcer, on behalf of the team, encouraged fans to call their state senators. In this essay, we examine the factors contributing to this coalescence. We build on relevant public administration scholarship that has examined the roles of athletes as social constructors and their impact on the administrative state. We contextualize this scholarship alongside the widespread public support for some measure of gun control. We also discuss future research avenues to examine the ongoing impacts of athlete protests.
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