In the wake of the devastating school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the Las Vegas Raiders donated $1 million to the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.
Raiders owner Mark Davis delivered a $1 million check to UCISD superintendent Hal Harrell, UCISD director of student services Kenneth Mueller, and Vann McElroy, a member of the Super Bowl XVIII champion Raiders who now resides in the Uvalde, during a Zoom meeting this week.
The monies will be used to improve security at district schools by erecting impenetrable doors and an unscalable barrier, as well as installing cameras both inside and outside.
Davis told the Uvalde Leader-News, “We are delighted to be part of something that will make the children in these schools safer.”
“Vann and I had a talk two weeks ago. He told me about the hardships his hometown was through.
Vann mentioned that he had a grandchild who was enrolled in a public school. He said his family considered sending him to a private school next year, but he preferred that he attend the public school like Vann and his son did as children in Uvalde.
He stated that Uvalde was in pain and need assistance. I inquired as to what we would do to alleviate the suffering.”
On May 24, an 18-year-old gunman went from classroom to classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, killing 19 children and two adults, adding to a brutal, years-long pattern of mass shootings at churches, schools, and markets. On May 14, a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Buffalo, killing ten people.
The tragedy at Uvalde was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, adding to a tragic record in a state that has seen some of the bloodiest shootings in the country in the last five years.
“Throughout my time with the Raiders, this organization has taken care of me and my family, as well as the players and all members of the Raiders family,” McElroy stated. “Mark’s father, Al Davis, was a trailblazer and innovator in the National Football League.
The Raiders have a long history of helping those in need. I’m sure Al would be proud of Mark’s and the organization’s achievements today.”
In recent weeks, a number of NFL teams have donated donations to the Uvalde community. Many NFL players wore orange shirts on the practice field during OTAs to show support for Uvalde and to raise awareness about gun violence in the United States.
“We appreciate Mr. Davis’ and the Raiders’ generosity. Vann is a long-time friend and a vital component of the Uvalde community “Harrell explained.”
“This money will be put to good use by us. This investment should help make our classrooms a lot safer.”
Uvalde Shooting Has Sparked Renewed Gun Control Debate in the United States
Davis’ gift comes less than a month after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School, killing 19 children and two adults.
The shooting has reignited discussion in the United States about gun restrictions. Senators announced a bipartisan gun compromise on Sunday, though it still needs Senate approval.
The Raiders were where McElroy spent nine of his ten seasons in the NFL. He was selected to two Pro Bowls and helped the team win a Super Bowl.
McElroy was born and raised in Uvalde, where he attended Uvalde High School in the 1970s. He is still a resident of the neighborhood.
Following the tragedy at Robb Elementary, a number of athletes have spoken out against gun legislation. Steve Kerr, the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, made the most impassioned argument on the matter, pushing Congress to act.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers has urged for reform as well. Joe Burrow, the quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, spoke out on the matter on Tuesday, saying that he feels it should be more difficult to obtain the types of guns used in mass shootings.
The Raiders are one of only a few NFL teams to make a donation to Uvalde. Following the shooting, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, as well as the NFL Foundation, donated to initiatives to aid Uvalde.