Sailors raise awareness of gun control efforts, which manager Scott Servais applauds

Although he didn’t start and end a media session in the wake of the tragedy with an impassioned speech similar to that of Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Mariners manager Scott Servais never been afraid to give his opinion on social issues in the United States, regardless of the response from fans.

But the discreet Servais rarely makes such unsolicited statements.

If asked, he will provide thoughtful answers.

On Saturday afternoon, four days after the tragic mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Servais was asked about his thoughts on recent events that followed, including Giants manager Gabe Kapler, who decided to stay at the clubhouse for the national game. anthem as a small form of protest against the direction of the country, and the Mariners’ decision to run gun control messages throughout their weekend streak at T-Mobile Park.

“I can’t comment, or I don’t want to comment on Gabe,” Servais said. “I know what is happening in our country is not good. It is very serious. There has to be a reform and certain things have to be looked at with regard to gun control. When you look at the end of the day, and there are 21 people being shot at school, a week or 10 days after the supermarket incident in Buffalo, I think it’s time for a country to do something.

“You want to be respectful, and I get the ‘minute of silence,’ but the ‘minute of silence’ is very empty. It’s time for the people of our country and our lawmakers to do something about it. That’s so what Scott Servais thinks, I certainly respect what other people think. But it’s time. It’s just time.

The Mariners changed the color of their Twitter avatar to orange, which has become the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement, with a bio line: “End Gun Violence.”

Why orange?

It started after Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in a playground on January 21, 2013. After her death at age 16, Pendleton’s friends commemorated her life by wearing orange, which is the color hunters wear to protect themselves from other hunters.

“Wear Orange” became an official day on June 2, 2015, which would have been Pendleton’s 18th birthday. It has now expanded to a three-day period each year: National Gun Violence Awareness Day (the first Friday in June) and Wear Orange Weekend (the accompanying weekend). This year, Wear Orange will take place from June 3 to 5, 2022.

During the weekend series against the Astros, the Mariners held a moment of silence in honor of victims of gun violence. It was followed by a call to action with the names of four organizations: Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America (MomsDemandAction.org), Every Town For Gun Safety (everytown.org), Brady United (BradyUnited.org ) and Sandy Hook. Promise (SandyHookPromise.org).

Throughout the games, the Mariners video screen will display gun violence facts and figures in bright orange and white to raise awareness and website information to get involved in the effort.

For example, in the third inning of Saturday’s game, the top corner of the video board read: “From 2009 to 2020, 1 in 4 mass shooting victims were children and adolescents.”

T-Mobile Park’s rooftop lights will turn orange next weekend for National Gun Awareness Day on June 3.

Servais said he thinks the Mariners are right to step forward and be active in their messaging on this and other topics in the past.

“I think we should,” he said. “I think hopefully we are at a turning point in our country. I do not know. I know the people in the seats that are making the change need to step back and watch what is happening. And if they don’t bring change, I’ve often said everyone has a voice, you have a vote. You vote for the people who are supposed to represent you and do the right thing. These people have to do the right thing or they don’t have to sit in those seats anymore. This is how I feel.”

During the COVID-19 epidemic, Servais spoke openly about the need for his players to be vaccinated but also for the general public. He pushed for vaccination education, even agreeing to the Mariners bringing in Dr. Vin Gupta and Dr. Santiago Neme from the University of Washington to present information and answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines and their effects.

During the 2020 season, Servais would wear shirts about voting, the importance of voting, and voter education.

“I think it’s a way for everybody to have a voice,” Servais said in August 2020. “And I think we have to take it seriously. And it’s a way to have the opportunity to make changes. This is something that I continue to talk about with our players. I would like all of our players to sign up and also vote. I think it’s really, really important where we we are at the moment.

He led a personal campaign to get all of his players registered to vote and participate in the 2020 elections.

“It’s something close to my heart,” he said. “You know, we’re talking about change across our country. It’s easy to talk about it, but how to achieve it concretely? I think voting is one of the ways to do that.

When Major League Baseball decided to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta after Georgia’s SB 202 law was passed, which critics said would restrict voting access, Servais voiced his support.

“I absolutely agree with the decision,” Servais said on April 2, 2021. “Major League Baseball is doing the right thing. People are free to have their opinions on this. But with whatever happened in our country — and I think people know how I feel about some things — obviously the ability to vote and how important that is for the future of our country, for everyone everyone has the same rights, it’s really, really important to me.

At the start of the shortened 2020 season, Servais, who always wanted his players to be themselves, encouraged them to speak up and share their voices in the cause of social justice and the fight against systemic racism after the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed.

“I’m proud of our players who spoke about it,” he said at the time. “I think they handled the situation very well. Some guys are more active on social media than others, and that’s fine. They were very respectful and weren’t afraid to give their opinion. I support everything they do.

With a roster that had more African American players than any other baseball team at the time, he felt it was important for those players to share their thoughts and experiences with other teammates.

“The more we talk about it and the more comfortable we are, the more we understand,” he said. “And that’s important as a society. It’s something that we’re going to tackle as a team, and it’s really no different from a lot of other things that we do, other than the fact that the story of what happened here in our country must change.