The Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins, the two teams that have the biggest connection to the tragic shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, will play each other in Miami for the very first game of the 2018 season. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is a Stoneman alumnus, and has been deeply affected by the shooting, so it was a fitting tribute that Rizzo and the rest of the Cubs wore Stoneman Douglas T-shirts during warm-ups on Thursday.
— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) March 29, 2018
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) March 29, 2018
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) March 29, 2018
In the clubhouse, Rizzo was asked about the Stoneman students who have been pushing for stricter gun control laws. Via the Chicago Sun-Sentinel, he had nothing but praise for their efforts, including their presence and speeches at the recent March For Our Lives rallies.
“I think you would never see this before in this country. You’ve never seen 11-year-olds speaking at a rally,” Rizzo said. “I think the nation is listening. I think some politicians are maybe shaking a little bit, a little nervous. They’ve got to keep going and fight for what they believe in.”
And he followed those words of praise with harsh words for those who have been criticizing the students in the media. Via the Chicago Tribune:
“For them to get bullied on Twitter by some guy with strong fingers, I think it’s pretty funny. I know for a fact they’re not going to let anything affect them in their mission, because what they’re doing is bigger than themselves. It’s for a lot of people.”
Rizzo said those who’ve called the kids “actors” are “losers.”
“Where is your sense of sympathy?” he said. “It’s as real as it gets. If you don’t think it‘s real, go there. It’s crazy to hear that. Anytime you (speak out) you’re going to deal with backlash. I think what they’re doing is amazing.”
Rizzo was also asked about his personal views on gun control. Here’s what he said to the Sun-Sentinel.
“I play first base for the Cubs,” he said. “But, in my perfect world, make it stricter. Make background checks a little tougher to get these guns. I think it’s a little too easy to get a gun. I think pretty much the entire nation can agree on that. My biggest thing is if you can make it harder to get guns, hopefully it eliminates a little bit of the problem.”
Rizzo was able to travel home to Parkland earlier this week. While he was there, he watched a baseball game in his continuing effort to support the community and the school as they recover from the tragedy.
The Marlins have found their own ways to honor the lives lost during the shooting. For each game of their four-game series against the Cubs, the Marlins will be wearing a special patch on their jerseys.
— Craig Davis (@CraigDavisRuns) March 29, 2018
At Marlins Park on Friday night, the Marlins and Cubs will host families of the Stoneman Douglas victims as well as the school’s baseball team.
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