Gator’s University of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson announced that he will no longer use the nickname “AR-15” and change the branding of his clothing line due to the use of the gun in bloodshed in the U.S.
Richardson, a sophomore from Gainesville, Florida, said Sunday that the nickname combined his initials and his jersey number, but now he just goes by “AR” or his full name.
“It is important to me that my name and brand are no longer associated with the assault rifle that has been used in mass shootings, which I do not endorse in any way or form,” he said in a statement. social media.
He also runs a clothing line with a reticle logo as part of his branding.
“My reps and I are currently working on rebranding, including creating a new logo and moving to simply using AR and my name, Anthony Richardson,” he said.
The decision comes after several high-profile massacres that have claimed dozens of lives, with gunmen often wielding the semi-automatic rifle or its clones.
The AR-15 has become a controversial symbol in the national debate about gun violence and gun rights. Both Armalitethe company that first made the AR-15, and the family of its late maker, Eugene Stoner, have said the weapon was developed and intended for warfare.
In the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two teachers, the gunman used an AR-15-type weapon. During the July 4 parade attack in Highland Park, Illinois, the gunman used a high-powered rifle that dispersed “high-velocity rounds similar to an AR-15,” said Chris Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force. .
On Sunday, a suspected gunman was carrying two AR-style rifles, a pistol and more than 100 rounds of ammunition when he opened fire at Greenwood Park Mall, outside Indianapolis, Indiana, killing three and injuring two, authorities said.
2022 was a bloody year with 354 mass shootings in the US so far, according to a tally by the United States Archive about gun violencewhich defines a mass shooting as four or more shots or deaths excluding the shooter.
In the wake of the Uvalde tragedy, President Joe Biden called on Congress to reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004, which said that after the ban ended and “those weapons were allowed to be resold, the number of shootings tripled.”