Liam Hendriks was activated for the July 4 game against the Twins — day that happened to coincide with a horrific mass shooting during a parade 25 miles north of Chicago, in Highland Park.
Pregrame, Hendriks stood in front of his uniform and a shirt reading “Stars & Stripes & Reproductive Rights” as he fielded questions about his return.
Hendriks is known for allyship, as he’s become the face of Pride and admitted to looking for teams that had Pride Night when choosing a new team in free agency back in 2020.
He also took a clear stance just a little over a week ago about Roe v. Wade being overturned.
White Sox closer Liam Hendriks blasted the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) June 24, 2022
"If this had anything to do with men, there'd be no chance that this would be overturned. And that’s something that’s disgraceful," he says.https://t.co/Mk8j2EHBd8 via @ParkinsSpiegel pic.twitter.com/uKJGnmMA4F
So naturally, prior to tonight’s game Hendriks was asked about the mass shooting in Highland Park, which took the lives of six and injuring dozens during an Independence Day parade. Hendriks continues to be baffled by gun control in the United States, and shootings being so common — unlike in other countries.
“I had to take a driving test when I [came] over [to America]. I won’t have to take a test if I want to get a gun. That’s stupid. Whoever thought that was a great idea is an idiot.” – Liam Hendriks pic.twitter.com/iErEJWfPzg— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) July 4, 2022
Hendriks brought up Australia’s treatment of the Port Arthur massacre of 1996. After that shooting, which left 35 dead and 23 wounded, Australia implemented stronger gun-control measures. Gun-related homicides and suicides significantly declined.
White Sox closer Liam Hendriks calls for more gun control after another deadly mass shooting pic.twitter.com/8J4Iyh122p— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) July 4, 2022
“Things need to get done or else, I mean, it’s getting to the point where civilization as you know it may be ending,” Hendriks said. “Just due to the fact that there are two drastically different sides (on guns and the Second Amendment).
As someone that grew up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, one thing that has stayed with me is his advice to look for the helpers. Hendriks, with the bravery to speak on subjects bigger than baseball, is one of the helpers.
Hendriks is a leader on and off the mound, and the world truly needs more people like him. I can only hope his words inspire others to stand up and help usher in a change in this heavily-wounded country.
Hendriks: "I stand for what I believe in and I don’t necessarily care if people like my opinion or like me for that. I like me and that’s all I really care about. You have to take care of what you believe in."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) July 4, 2022
After consulting with MLB in deciding whether to play the scheduled game tonight against the Twins, the White Sox chose to cancel the postgame fireworks and had a moment of silence for the innocent lives lost in yet another senseless act of violence in our country.
Our hearts are with the Highland Park community. pic.twitter.com/QMfJ9xdfoj— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 4, 2022