One of Australia’s biggest sports exports has violated US gun laws after another mass shooting event rocked America.
Australian Major League baseball player Liam Hendriks has won many new fans in the US after targeting the country’s gun laws following a shooting in Chicago.
Six people were killed and 26 injured when a gunman opened fire during Independence Day celebrations in Chicago.
The gunman was arrested later in the day after a manhunt.
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It was another dark day for the US, with shootings becoming all too common.
President Joe Biden said in a statement that he and First Lady Jill Biden were “appalled at the senseless violence that has brought new grief to an American community on Independence Day.”
Western Australia-born Chicago White Sox pitcher Liam Hendriks called for change after another mass shooting event.
Hendricks, who was ranked as the fifth highest paid Australian athlete by The Daily Telegraph earlier this year, in the second year of his $A75 million three-year contract, the largest for an assistant pitcher in MLB history, he finally had enough.
Referring to Australia’s response to the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, which killed 35 people before the federal government launched a gun buy-back scheme and tightened gun laws, Hendriks said something had to change.
‘I find it astonishing to come by,’ said Hendriks. “It (gun violence) is what America is known for. There are many things that are good here, but you look at the negatives and it is a complete…
“As a non-American, I can walk into a store and buy a gun in certain states. And that baffles me. I had to take a driving test while I was here. I don’t have to take a test if I want a weapon. That is stupid. Anyone who thought that was a great idea was an idiot.
“We as Australians dealt with it when we had a mass shooting and when the mass shooting happened the government came in and said ‘yes we can’t do this, we’re going to do a buyback programme’. We’re going to buy back all weapons for a fair price.
“Suddenly the suicide rates dropped drastically, our gun-related homicides dropped infinitely. And it’s pretty much something that just goes on and on. You can still access weapons in Australia. You go through gun clubs, but there are many more stipulations on it. Protection is not a good reason to get a weapon.”
Hendriks is a two-time All-Star and two-time MLB first-team player and two-time American League reliever of the year.
It wasn’t all Hendriks’s either, because he called for change.
“I think access to the weapons used in these things needs to change something,” Hendriks said. “Something has to happen. Something has to be done, because there are far too many people who are losing their lives.
“It’s not just about the people who lose their lives. It’s their families. It’s the tragedy that they go through, an entire community, when people are concerned about leaving the house, concerned about the day-to-day things of going to work.
“We really need to think about what’s going on. I don’t think enough is being done. There are two sides. The two sides have to meet somewhere in the middle and figure this out because too many people are dying and there is no excuse to be on one side or the other.
“At some point, something has to happen. It’s getting to the point where civilization might end because there are two different sides, something has to change, something has to happen and it has to happen quickly.”
Audacy Sports Podcast host Cody Decker tweeted: “Liam Henricks for President”.
Former NBA star Rex Chapman said: “Liam Hendriks has something to say… Should be watched.”
American journalist Seth Mnookin wrote: “Where do I sign up for the Liam Hendriks fan club?”
Canberra Times sports reporter Melanie Dinjaski added: “Liam Hendriks (Aussie baseball legend who plays for Chicago White Sox) is definitely doing well”.
Australian Peter Lalor said: “Liam Hendriks talks a little Australian with the Americans. Get ready for that crazy Tucker, Carlson, to expose his sanity…”.
The comments came after the White Sox consulted with MLB about a possible game postponement and held a moment of silence before playing their home game against Minnesota on Monday.
Chicago also called off post-game fireworks.
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