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Anthony Rizzo Speaks at Vigil Held After Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS Shooting

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17:  Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs warms up before game three of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on October 17, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo attended high school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and addressed the community Thursday night after Wednesday's tragic shooting.

ESPN.com shared the video of Rizzo speaking to the gathered crowd, and he was emotional and holding back tears for extended stretches.

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

The Cubs' Anthony Rizzo, a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, fought through tears as he delivered a heartfelt speech at a vigil held for Wednesday's shooting victims. https://t.co/ZJcdgqMkRy

"I'm only who I am because of this community," he said.

"I want you to know that you're not alone in your grief, we're all grieving with you," Rizzo continued. "The entire country is grieving with you."

Per Eric Levenson of CNN, 17 people were killed by a gunman at the school on Wednesday.

While the All-Star offered his support, gratitude and admiration to the teachers, students, families and first responders during his speech, he also pointed out things need to change in this country when it comes to gun violence.

"I'm a baseball player, but I'm also an American. I'm a Floridian, and I'm a Parklander for life," he said. "Though I don't have all the answers, I know that something has to change before this is visited on another community and another community and another community."

Rizzo and the Cubs both offered their support to the community on Twitter as well:

Anthony Rizzo @ARizzo44

Parkland and Coral Springs please stay strong! This is out of control and and our country is in desperate need for change. I hope In this darkest of times back home this brings everyone together and we can find love. You’re all in my prayers 🙏🏻🙏🏻

Chicago Cubs @Cubs

Our heart goes out to the students and families impacted by today’s tragedy at @ARizzo44's high school in Parkland, FL.

Patrick Mooney of The Athletic noted Rizzo graduated from the school in 2007 and maintains a charitable foundation in the community of Parkland.

According to ESPN.com, the first baseman donated $150,000 to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in November to help install lights on the baseball and softball fields. The article also noted he "played freshman football under assistant coach Aaron Feis, who was among those killed in Wednesday's shooting and is being hailed a hero for shielding a student."

Rizzo offered his support Thursday night, and teammate Kris Bryant explained why he is an ideal person to do as much.

"Anthony's just a role model for everybody on this team, in Chicago, the whole country," Bryant said, per Mooney. "He's just such an amazing person that he's going down there and doing anything that he can do to help."

Rizzo was named the Roberto Clemente Award winner in 2017 for his charitable endeavors with pediatric cancer patients.

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