The Chicago White Sox canceled their planned postgame fireworks show in response to the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois.
In a statement posted to Twitter and the team's website, the White Sox said they changed their plans for their July 4 game after the shooting, which left six people dead and at least 24 injured at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago-area suburb.
"Our hearts are with the Highland Park community," the statement read, continuing on to say that "the entire White Sox organization expresses our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the innocent victims of today's horrific shooting and all of those who have been affected by this tragedy."
While Chicago and MLB ultimately decided to play Monday night's game against the Minnesota Twins as scheduled, the team canceled its plans for a postgame fireworks show to celebrate the holiday and held a moment of silence before the start of the game.
Our hearts are with the Highland Park community. pic.twitter.com/QMfJ9xdfoj
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 4, 2022
Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesperson Christopher Covelli said that the shooting began at 10:14 a.m., less than 15 minutes into Highland Park's parade. Five people died on the scene, while another died after being transported to the hospital, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.
Before the game started, Chicago's star closer Liam Hendrix called for change in the government's approach to gun violence in the U.S.
"I read about [the shooting] on the way here and it's something that you never want to read but unfortunately in this day and age it's becoming all too commonplace," Hendrix told reporters, via NBC Sports Chicago. "The weaponry that is being used in these kind of things is — something needs to change. Something needs to be done, something needs to happen, because there's way too many people losing their lives."
"Unfortunately, it's almost daily," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said of gun violence in the U.S., according to USA Today. "Way too frequently. Even when there's an explanation, there's no explanation. It doesn't make sense."
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
Chicago's other major professional sports teams — the MLB's Cubs, as well as the NBA's Bulls, the NFL's Bears, the WNBA's Sky, and the NHL's Blackhawks each shared statements to social media extending condolences to all affected by Monday's shooting.
"What happened today in Highland Park was horrifying and senseless," the Bulls said in a statement posted to Twitter. "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 heart."
"Gun violence inflicts pain on our friends, neighbors, families, businesses, and communities," the 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."
"Everyone deserved to feel safe where they live, work, and play, and this simply cannot be accepted as commonplace," the Blackhawks said in a statement.
Other MLB figures have expressed similar frustration with ongoing mass shooting across the country in recent months; San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler said in the aftermath of May's mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that he would no longer plan on arriving on the field for the national anthem before each game.
By the time the White Sox's game against Minnesota ended — the Twins beat the White Sox, 6-3 — police had taken a person of interest who they believed responsible for the shooting into custody.