Phillies announcer Scott Franzke sends poignant message about Uvalde shooting

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Franzke sends poignant message about Uvalde shooting originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

One day after 19 elementary school children and two teachers were murdered in Uvalde, Texas, this week, Phillies radio broadcaster Scott Franzke began Wednesday evening's Phillies pregame show with a decidedly non-baseball message.

Instead of discussing the lineup, Franzke chose to send a message - pointed and personal - to listeners about the tragedy in Texas, Franzke's home state.

It's more than worth a listen:

Franzke begins by telling the story of recently watching a Phillies game with his 8-year-old daughter, June, and realizing in real time how well she already understood baseball.

He then explains that this kind of anecdote is likely what he would've been relaying to TV cameras if his daughter was murdered in a school shooting.

Franzke goes on to explain that while he believes "this is the greatest country in the world", that "doesn't mean we don't have problems, and it doesn't mean we can't be better." He cites guns, mental health, and anger as three key problems and asks the listeners to make a difference.

And then he leaves listeners with the most powerful part of his message, which I've transcribed here:

"My eight-year-old daughter, June, the one who likes baseball - her class gets bears for good behavior. They help a friend, clean up an activity, or stay quiet during a lesson? They get bears. And when they fill up the bear jar, they get to have a party in class. 

"When my wife talked to the kids last night about what happened in Texas, they didn't really understand the 'bad man did a bad thing' explanation. Too many unanswered questions there. But the term active shooter? That's a term they know. 

"The reason they know is because they recently had another 'lockdown' drill at school. And wouldn't you know it, they did a really good job during the drill. They got some bears. They filled up the jar, because they were good during their active shooter training. And they get to have a party."

It's a chilling, sobering, extremely effective way to put into perspective the theater of absurd we're running our children through instead of finding a better way to keep them safe.