AP Photo/Jeff Dean
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has called for gun reform in the wake of recent mass shootings around the United States.
“With everything that’s going on, if you’re not gonna outlaw everything, you gotta at least make it harder to get those crazy guns that everybody’s using,” he told reporters Tuesday. “I don’t think you should be able to just walk in there and buy one. You gotta be able to go through a rigorous process to be able to buy something like that, I think. Hopefully the people that get paid to make those decisions figure that out. My job is to play football, but hopefully the politicians can figure that one out.”
Burrow appeared to be talking about gun reform for AR-15-style rifles in particular, which were used in the Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas mass shootings.
His quotes came as a bipartisan group of senators, including 10 Republicans—enough to break a GOP-led filibuster—have agreed on gun-reform legislation.
“Families are scared, and it is our duty to come together and get something done that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities,” the group of 20 senators said in a statement.
Though President Joe Biden has pushed for sweeping reform—he’s asked to make assault rifles and high-capacity magazines illegal, to legally require universal background checks and raise the age limit for buying a firearm in the United States to 21 years of age—the bipartisan bill will be more limited in its scope.
Burrow, 25, is entering his third year in the NFL, fresh off leading the Bengals to the Super Bowl last season.
Though NFL players have been more vocal about social and political issues in recent years, namely in the wake of Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police brutality and racial discrimination by taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016, prominent white quarterbacks have not often led the way in such conversations or even lent their voices publicly.
Burrow’s comments are perhaps a sign of incremental change in that regard.