The most important individual in the history of the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan, has a mansion in Highland Park, Illinois, the same town that was struck by tragedy yesterday. No matter who you are, rich or poor and everything in between, and no matter where you live, you are not safe from gun violence in America.
On the fourth of July, the USA’s birthday no less, a crazed sniper killed 7 and injured 41 from the rooftop of a building overlooking an Independence Day parade and celebration. The gunman has been apprehended and will be charged with seven counts of first degree murder. Many more charges against him are forth-coming.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) July 5, 2022
The White House will fly their flags at half-staff to honor the victims in Highland Park.
In the wake of this news, the Chicago Bulls released a very emotional and powerful statement.
“What happened today in Highland Park was horrifying and senseless,” the Chicago Bulls statement began.
“Over the years, Highland Park has been home to many members of Bulls nation, including a number of Bulls players and staff. Our connection with the community is personal, and it holds a particularly special place in our hearts.
“We are grieving with the community and everyone affected, and we support them as we all mourn this tragedy.“
— Paul M. Banks (@PaulMBanks) July 4, 2022
For decades, the Bulls had a practice facility and office home in Deerfield, IL which neighbors Highland Park.
After the most recent round of previous mass shootings, Steve Kerr, head coach of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said on this topic just a couple weeks ago.
“Gun violence inflicts pain on our friends, neighbors, families, businesses, and communities,” the Chicago Bulls statement continued.
“This situation is one that we’ve been in too many times, saying what feels like the same words and expressing the same sentiments. The Chicago Bulls are committed to change and using the resources in our power to make a different and help solve this epidemic of gun violence.”
The Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs, and White Sox have all joined forces to start the Chicago Sports Alliance, which has provided $4 million in grants since its inception to READI Chicago (Rapid Employment and Development Initiative) and the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
The purpose is to support the potential solutions to our nation’s horrific gun violence epidemic. The grants were matched by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to the tune of $1.5 million. So while no one expects a basketball team to somehow resolve America’s greatest shame, It’s great to see the Chicago Bulls, and the other local put some cash behind their words.
But you know that they are up against?
A NRA that is a domestic terrorist organization and their GOP (Guns Over People) enablers.
It’s an uphill fight to be sure, but there are way more of us, who “get it” than there are amoral and unhinged gun nuts, who believe that firearms should have more rights than human beings.
Want to help those stricken by this tragedy?
You can donate to one of the Go Fund Me links set up to benefit the families of the victims.
Currently, there are more guns in America than there are people, so it’s going to take a lot of money, time and effort to bring real change. But we can not ever give up.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”Follow paulmbanks