OL Reign defeated Kansas City Current 1-0 on Wednesday night in Seattle but the minds and hearts of players and coaches were with the victims in Uvalde, Texas after the country’s latest mass shooting that took place on Tuesday afternoon. The win was OL Reign’s first regular-season victory, but celebrations around the win took a backseat for many involved in the match.
After the game Reign coach Laura Harvey spoke little about the team’s first win.
“Yeah, I think you know, we needed it. But I think in light of what happened yesterday, in Texas, I think that — as much as we’re really happy that we got the win and we know that that’s our job to do — I think that we all came here with a heavy heart and wanting things to change,” said Harvey, a native of Nuneaton, United Kingdom.
“I think I’ve lived in this country now for nearly 10 years. And it’s mind blowing to me that this continues to happen. I’ve got a three-year-old nephew who I just thought about immediately when I saw the news and I’m sure everyone does that. And to think that he may go to preschool and never go home is heartbreaking. To think of all the families that are being affected every day by this craziness. It needs to change, it needs to stop. There’s no excuse. And we want that to change immediately.”
Harvey sat alongside OL and U.S. national team forward Megan Rapinoe during the post-game press conference as Rapinoe echoed the sentiments of her coach. The USWNT player has often been the face of her team when it comes to advocating for important issues off the pitch, and also referred to recent comments from NBA coach Steve Kerr.
“It’s literally the definition of insanity. We’re living in the same country when it comes to gun control and gun laws. There’s literally mass shooting every day. I mean, it actually struck me when we went to do a moment of silence today because we just did one three f***ing days ago for a different mass shooting and I mean, it’s just, it’s literally the definition of insanity. The entire country is being completely held hostage, as Steve Kerr said last night. And I mean, quite literally, hostage. In a hostile environment where you can go to church, you can go to the grocery store, or you can go to school and end up dead.”
Rapinoe also urged citizens to call their representatives or to vote them out if they do not enact change.
“The only reason that an AR-15 exists is to murder human beings. It’s not used for anything else. And it’s obviously very effective and it’s just heartbreaking. Like [Harvey] said, we all have people in our lives. Kids in our lives, friends who have kids, teachers in our lives, and to just hear some of the politicians stand up and talk about arming our teachers — like so they can kill someone? Like the logic to stopping a mass murderer is to murder someone? — Like it’s just f***ing completely insane.
From myself, [Harvey], from the team, from the whole organization — our whole heart goes out to everyone in Texas and every one of those families affected. It’ll change everybody’s lives forever in that community, and it’s just horrific. It makes it seem pointless to come play. Really, it’s difficult to do that, and not everybody is, you know, doing their job and having to show up today and trying to just sort of fake their way through it, but it’s just so heartbreaking. Things need to change. And I just don’t know how many more of these we want to see because they’re just going to continue to happen every single day until we do something about it.”