MLS

Black MLS players create a coalition on Juneteenth

They announced the formation of Freedom Day for Black Americans in the MLS, better known as Juneteenth and the coalition has over 70 black players in the league.

Black MLS players create a coalition on Juneteenth

A group of over 70 black players in Major League Soccer (MLS) have formed a coalition that seeks to address racial inequities across the game in the league and to positively benefit local communities. It all started in an Instagram group and now they have formed a 501(c)(3) non profit organization known as the Black Players Coalition of the MLS on the Freedom Day for Black Americans, better known as Juneteenth.

The death of George Floyd sparked millions of protests across the country demanding justice and equality for the black community and three weeks ago Toronto FC Justin Morrow created an Instagram group of 32 other black players in the league. Two days later more than 70 black MLS players had a Zoom meeting to discuss the following objectives:

  • Creating a platform and voice to speak on all matters pertaining to black players.
  • Demanding an increased representation of black officials in the league office and MLS Players’ Association.
  • Create Impact programs in black communities within local MLS markets.

“When we came together on that [Zoom] call, it was the most hopeful thing in one of the darkest weeks of my entire life. And I say that because it was like seeing my brothers and being in a room full of friends. And, you know, everyone was there for love and compassion. And it was really there that we decided that we needed an organization for us,” said Morrow to a small group of reporters on a conference call on Thursday.

"MLS proudly recognizes and supports the Black Players Coalition of Major League Soccer – a group of players who today, on Juneteenth, have established themselves as influential change leaders," the release said. "The League looks forward to continued and longstanding collaborations with the Black Players Coalition of Major League Soccer through efforts aimed at developing the game in Black communities, prioritizing diversity, and addressing implicit bias through league-wide cultural and educational initiatives."