Thousands. Too Many. An unimaginable number of lives have been taken due to the massive gun violence that has been occurring recently in the United States. Children have lost their parents, and parents who lost their children. Someone’s daughter, son, uncle, cousin, brother, sister died because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time – if that is even fair to say. Through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms, society can connect with these unfortunate events, being able to share and comment. Sports, particularly baseball can play a role in connecting their followers to information on gun violence through social media.

Social media has the power to provide immediate information to a wide audience. When this information is transmitted by accounts with thousands and even millions of followers, the influence is powerful. How many of us are on social media, most currently tuned on the sports that are in season? Baseball is on!

With 3.6 million followers on Twitter, the New York Yankees have decided to take a stand on gun violence. The Yankees chose to replace their scheduled in game social media posts with content focused on stating facts and spreading awareness on gun violence while matched up against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Although some of their followers have replied to posts with “stick to baseball” and even implying political intentions, others have congratulated the team for highlighting a national issue. The Tampa Bay Rays also stood up against gun violence, supporting the communities affected by recent massive shootings throughout their media posts. The Rays switched their Twitter header to an imagine reading “End Gun Violence”, and donating $50,000 to EveryTown, an organization that works on preventing gun violence.

The use of social media by the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays to end gun violence has raised different approaches on how people decide to consume news– especially when they are expecting something else. However, coming from those teams who have a high influence on social media based on their number of followers, this awareness must be passed on. This information on gun violence and how it has emotionally affected families and communities must  be spoken about and communicated to as many people on social media. An end to gun violence is necessary.