White Sox’ Liam Hendriks calls for change after mass shooting in Highland Park
Flanked by a T-shirt in his stall that read “Stars & Stripes & Reproductive Rights,” Hendriks also has spoken passionately in support of the LGBTQ community and came out strongly against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The White Sox’ game Monday against the American League Central-leading Twins was the start of perhaps the defining stretch of their season. Because it was July 4, the holiday vibe at Guaranteed Rate Field was evident.
Yet there were still reminders of the mass shooting that happened earlier in the day at a parade in Highland Park.
In a statement, the Sox said they consulted with Major League Baseball about postponing the game but decided to go ahead with it. The Sox said their ‘‘hearts are with the Highland Park community’’ and expressed their ‘‘deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the innocent victims of today’s horrific shooting and all of those who have been affected by this tragedy.’’ A moment of silence was observed before the game, and the Sox canceled a planned fireworks display afterward.
Still, a lot of things felt normal.
As usual on Independence Day, both teams wore patriotic-styled caps. The fans also seemed up for the game early, booing Twins shortstop Carlos Correa and roaring when the Sox got out of a bases-loaded jam by turning a 1-2-3 double play in the first inning and when Jose Abreu homered in the second.
Manager Tony La Russa supported the decision to play the game but also bemoaned what happened in Highland Park.
‘‘Unfortunately, it’s almost daily, way too frequently,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘Even when there’s an explanation, there’s no explanation. Doesn’t make sense.’’
The shooting definitely didn’t make sense to closer Liam Hendriks, who called for change in the wake of the tragedy.
‘‘I think the access to the weaponry that is being kind of used in these things is — something needs to change,’’ Hendriks said. ‘‘Something needs to be done. Something needs to happen because there’s way too many people losing their lives.
‘‘And it’s not only about the people who lose their lives. The families of that, the tragedy they go through, the entire community when people are concerned about leaving the house, concerned about doing the day-to-day things of going to work or any number of these things. We really need to reflect on what’s going on.’’
Hendriks has spoken passionately in support of the LGBTQ community and came out strongly against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. He was flanked by a T-shirt in his locker stall that read ‘‘Stars & Stripes & Reproductive Rights’’ when he made his stance on gun control clear.
‘‘I don’t think enough is being done,’’ Hendriks said. ‘‘There are two sides, and the two sides need to meet somewhere in the middle and figure this out because too many people are dying. It’s no excuse to say, ‘I’m on this side or that side.’ It’s no excuse. At some point, things need to get done, or else it’s getting to the point where civilization as you know it may be ending just to the fact there’s two drastically different sides.
‘‘Something needs to change. Something needs to happen, and it needs to happen quick.’’
Hendriks, who was raised in Australia, was asked how he views the U.S. gun culture as somebody not from this country. He compared the nations’ weapons laws and said the U.S. gun culture is ‘‘baffling’’ to him.
‘‘That’s what America is known for,’’ Hendriks said. ‘‘They are known as the superior. . . . There are a lot of things that are good over here, but you look at the negatives. . . . I can walk into a store as a non-American and buy a handgun in certain states. That baffles me.
‘‘I had to take a driving test when I was over here. I won’t have to take a test if I want to get a gun. That’s stupid. Whoever thought that was a great idea is an idiot.’’