The Houston Astros played baseball Friday night. It wasn’t easy.
Hours before, the Astros learned like everyone else that a mass shooting had occurred at Santa Fe High School, which is located 36 miles outside Houston. Nine students and one adult were reportedly killed in the senseless act of violence. Another 10 were injured, including a blossoming pitcher with a bright baseball future.
The victims were front and center in the hearts and on the minds of Astros players and coaches. So, too was the reality that there have been 22 school shootings in 2018 in which at least one person was injured or killed.
It’s an issue that Astros manager A.J. Hinch can’t wrap his head around. When asked about the incident ahead of Friday’s game against the Cleveland Indians, Hinch was initially at a loss for words. Then he delivered some honest and powerful words that everyone would be wise to pay attention to.
“I don’t have the words,” Hinch told reporters. “I mean, I’m here in front of a bunch of cameras trying to make people feel better when I don’t think that the situation should ever happen. There’s no reason for our schools to be combat zones. And it’s turning that way.”
“We started the season with a conversation like this in Florida (following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School), and now we’re talking about it in our own city. And it’s going to be a different city, and then another city, and then another city. Thoughts and prayers are great; they’re not fixing the problem. And until we fix the problem, whether it’s guns, whether it’s safety, security – I want answers; I don’t want to offer any more condolences. I want to find answers.”
Hinch’s comments echo those of Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul.
Chris Paul starts his press conference with thoughts on the Santa Fe High School shooting.Says the playoffs are minor to what is going on in the world, and says we need to do something about all these shootings. pic.twitter.com/SWCrKTDe3S
— David Nuño (@DavidNunoABC13) May 18, 2018
Hinch and Paul’s words are filled with strong emotions. They’re also based on the understanding that unless something actively and drastically changes, there will continue to be senseless tragedies that will alter the lives of innocent children and their families.
The Astros did their best to get back to business Friday night. The team opened the game with a moment of silence for the victims.
We send our thoughts and prayers to the families of those affected by the senseless tragedy at Santa Fe High School today. We will hold a moment of silence prior to tonight’s game and fly the Texas flags at MMP at half-staff in support and memory of the victims and their families
— Houston Astros (@astros) May 18, 2018
It won’t do much to ease the pain of those impacted by the Santa Fe High School shooting, but it will at least let them know that the community is behind them.
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