(670 The Score) Cubs manager Joe Maddon on Wednesday evening sent a text of support to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who’s traveling from spring training in Arizona back to his hometown of Parkland, Florida, the site of a tragedy.
Seventeen people were killed Wednesday during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where Rizzo grew up and went to school. Like so many others around the world, Maddon and the Cubs were left saddened by such a horrific event and only able to express their support.
The 28-year-old Rizzo knows the families of some shooting victims and wanted to lend his support. Rizzo had arrived several days early to the Cubs’ spring training site in Mesa, Arizona. Maddon told Rizzo to take as much time as he needs.
“It’s one of those things, these moments in our culture, it’s got to stop,” Maddon said Thursday. “Nobody has the answers, but we have to figure it out somehow. I told him to get back to us if there’s anything we can do to help — I don’t even know what that means. But definitely wanted to go back there and be involved, as he should.
“The entire nation is feeling the brunt of all this. All of us when we heard about it, you feel awful. That hollow feeling. You just imagine your own kids or your family or anybody that you possibly know being involved with that. It’s getting way too familiar. We just have to do something. I don’t have the answers, but we have to come together as a group somehow to formulate some opinions or method or plan to put this to an end, because it’s a horrible thing for any of us to have to experience.”
Maddon was at a loss for words in expressing his sadness, conveying a message of support on behalf of himself and the Cubs as Rizzo returned home.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant also expressed his support to Rizzo, his close friend, after experiencing the mass shooting in his hometown of Las Vegas that killed 58 and left 851 injured at a country music concert in October.
“The people that are in our position, if there’s anything we can do to be more helpful in regards to creating an answer to this situation, we’d all want to participate or be more involved in that,” Maddon said. “It’s got to be like a neighborhood-by-neighborhood, block-by-block kind of a situation to arrive at some kind of an answer. You have to think small before we can think big in regards to formulating an answer to all of this. Of course, whether you’re famous or not famous, we all have to become involved in the process of trying to solve this situation, this problem. It’s horrific.”
Calls for change in the nation’s gun control policies have followed after the tragedy in Florida, which was allegedly carried out by a 19-year-old former student at the school who used an AR-15.
Around the world, celebrities of all kind are using their platform to press politicians for accountability and action to regulate who can access deadly weapons like this. Maddon spoke to that subject as well.
“There’s got to be something to be done about that,” Maddon said. “There has to be. More specifically, I don’t know enough except that it just doesn’t make any sense that a (semi-) automatic rifle has to be in anybody’s hands. I just don’t understand that.
“I would need to sit down with the appropriate people and be educated properly as opposed to just what I may read or hear. When you do that, you’re trying to read between the lines constantly to attempt to form your own opinions. It’s easy to formulate the opinion that I don’t understand why those kind of weapons are necessary in our culture in the hands of just anybody. I don’t understand that. But again, I would want to be more educated.”