Chicago Cubs star Anthony Rizzo called for change Thursday night during an emotional speech at a candlelight vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at a Florida high school, ESPN reported.
Rizzo, a 2007 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, fought back tears as he spoke, one day after a shooting at his alma mater. Seventeen people died and more than a dozen people were injured during Wednesday’s assault.
“Look, I’m a baseball player, but I’m also an American,” Rizzo said to the audience at the vigil, which was held at the Parkland Amphitheater. “I’m a Floridian, and I’m a Parklander for life.
“And while I don't have all the answers, I know that something has to change, before this is visited on another community, and another community, and another community.”
Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student at Stoneman Douglas High School, was arrested and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, Broward County authorities said.
Rizzo left the Cubs’ spring training camp in Arizona on Wednesday. He was one of nearly two dozen speakers who addressed a crowd of thousands, ESPN reported.
“I am only who I am because of this community,” Rizzo said. “And I just want all of you to know how proud I am to be a part of this community. I want you to know that you're not alone in your grief. We're all grieving with you. The entire country is grieving with you. So whatever comfort I can give, I will give. Whatever support I can offer to our students, teachers, coaches and families and first responders, you'll have it.”
Rizzo declined to speak with reporters after the vigil, ESPN reported.
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