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Love Orlando

SEATTLE -- There's no dancing around the fact that it's been a rough couple of days for our country. Regardless of where you lie on the political spectrum, it's clear that something needs to change.

In Orlando last week, a coward who doesn't deserve his name in print took the lives of 49 innocent people. It was an act of violence as gruesome as it was sadly unsurprising.

There's nothing we can do now to save those tragically lost in Orlando. In San Bernardino. In Colorado Springs. In Roseburg. In Chattanooga. In Charleston. In Isla Vista. In Newton.

And So on.

There are people in the world who will jump to conclusions about who or what is the cause for these horrible atrocities. They'll want you to blame, to hate those different from you.

But that's not the correct response. We must do more than stand with these communities. We must do more than symbolize our support for those lost with a captain's armband. We must do more than grieve, mourn, and pray.

We must learn and love each other.

I saw this in Seattle: love. For the first time in my life, I witnessed a moment of silence before the USMNT's game against Ecuador that was truly silent.

The American Outlaws stood together in Seattle, borrowing Portland's most famous soccer song to sing "You Are My Sunshine," for Orlando in the 62nd minute of the game. Two rival communities banded together to love a third from all the way across the country.

After the match, it seemed fitting that some of the players celebrated the 2-1 win in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, with its famous rainbow crosswalks.

This is just the start. There's so much more we can do. For a nation that likes to pride itself on its diversity, we don't learn nearly enough about the various cultures that make it so beautiful.

Learn about your neighbor, their culture, their customs. Educate yourself about the slighted communities that we so often generalize about. Talk to the marginalized. Love them.

We have a huge opportunity on our hands to prevent the next Orlando, and that starts with more nights like Thursday's in Seattle.

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