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The Mystics did not meet with the media following their 60–40 win over the Dream on Tuesday in the wake of a shooting at a Texas elementary school that left at least 21 dead, including 19 children and two adults, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Veteran guard Natasha Cloud was the sole player on the team to meet with reporters and used her brief time at the podium to call for change to the country’s gun laws.
“Today we are going to do a media blackout. I think you are all aware of what is happening and what happened in Texas and what happened in Buffalo not even a week and a half ago. We have an issue in this country. Not only with white supremacy; we also have a gun violence issue,” an emotional Cloud said. “This is us using our platform. This game doesn’t matter. … The lives that were lost today from senseless gun violence in Texas at an elementary school [matter]. We’re talking about kids not being safe to go to school and our government is still not implementing sensible gun laws.
“This isn’t about taking people’s rights away from bearing arms. This is about putting sensible gun laws in so this doesn’t happen again. We can not continue to make the same mistakes. We can not continue to allow these things to happen in our country. And nothing is being done about it.”
“I’m calling on everyone, write to your local representatives and your federal representatives and tell them you are tired. Tell them that we are tired of lives being lost in this country to senseless s---. It is time to implement gun laws and stop caring about profit and money over people and lives.”
Cloud ended her impassioned a speech with a heartfelt message for the community in Uvalde, Texas.
“To the families in Texas, the Mystics are sending our love and prayers,” she said. “We prayed for y’all today and will continue to pray for you and fight for you and fight for everyone in this country.”
Cloud was one of many figures in the sports world to speak out after the shooting. Local teams in Texas, including the Wings, Mavericks, Cowboys and Texans, also issued statements expressing condolences to the victims, families and the community.
The shooting at Robb Elementary School marks the 27th school shooting in the United States in 2022 and the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012.
The suspected gunman was an 18-year-old man who abandoned his vehicle and entered the school with a handgun and possibly a rifle, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said. The suspect is dead and acted alone, police later said in a press conference.