Image for article titled Yankees and Rays educate Twitter followers on gun violence

The New York Yankees shocked the nation by not showing their usual social media programming during their game against the Tampa Bay Rays last night, as we sit in states of grief, hopelessness, and disbelief after yet another preventable massacre of children in Uvaldo, Texas.

In place of highlights, score updates, and lineup announcements, the Yankees posted facts about gun violence in America accompanied by citations for the information. The account joined them in doing so. A gun violence prevention organization was the beneficiary of the $50,000 pledge by the Rays.

Who would have thought that the Yankees would take a stand and set a precedent for how to respond to political discourse following a tragedy? This is a franchise with a singular focus on winning titles from top to bottom. It makes its players shave and get haircuts before they wear their pinstripes. The only positions it takes are on the diamond. And yet.

The two teams posted statistics on topics including mass shootings, the effects of gun violence on different demographic, and the correlation between gun ownership and suicide. It was an important move, but it was undermined by the Yankees' continued employment of pitcher Aroldis Chapman, who was suspended by the league in 2016 for a domestic violence incident involving a firearm.

When others demand decisive, impactful action from such parties in response to such horrible events, this is the answer to that. They reached a large audience and interrupted regular programming to make their advocacy even more powerful. It means something when people check their favorite team's social media accounts expecting to see the replay of a double, and instead they get something like this from the Yankees.

Both teams included numbers for helplines for victims of domestic violence and those considering suicide.

How not to respond? Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said that compromise was the solution to the death of 19 children and two adults in a mass shooting.