In a powerful statement in the fight for social justice, over 100 Black MLS players, members of the Black Players for Change (BPC), took the field at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in a joint protest before the opening match of the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.
The demonstration saw players lined up across the main field ahead of the kickoff of the match between Orlando City SC and Inter Miami CF.
Black Players for Change is an organization of more than 170 Black MLS players that was formed to give Black players in MLS a voice and assist in making systemic change both inside and outside of MLS.
The on-field demonstration was one of a number of initiatives that the BPC designed in collaboration with MLS and MLS Black Staff United, the league's employee resource group for Black employees.
- Warm-up Tops: Created by the Philadelphia Union's Warren Creavalle, these shirts carry messages identifying players affected by racial injustice;
- Captains' Armbands: All MLS club captains in the MLS is Back Tournament will don armbands that showcase their support for the Black Lives Matter movement;
- MLS Unites Patch: Clubs will wear a special patch for their first match of the competition with a space for players to write in the name of a person they wish to honor or an inspirational message.
- Financial Contribution: MLS and the BPC have committed to make a financial commitment to organizations that are fighting racial inequality.
- Every Save Makes A Difference: TUDN has partnered with MLS WORKS and Allstate, to make a donation to local charitable organizations in MLS markets that are positively impacting lives in Hispanic communities -- $500 will be donated to the club’s chosen beneficiary for every save made during a TUDN or Univision broadcast during the MLS is Back Tournament.