Amid the recent eruption of the Black Lives Matters movement, players around Major League Soccer have come together to form the Black Players Coalition of MLS. The organization’s main goal, per their Twitter account, “is working to bring more inclusion across all of MLS.”
The organization was announced Friday on the black-owned soccer news outlet, Perfect Soccer. A statement on the website said the group “will serve as the BPC’s temporary home for updates but we want to reiterate that Perfect Soccer and the BPC are separate entities.”
More than 70 black players from around the league, including former Columbus Crew SC striker Kei Kamara, helped form the organization. Kamara will also act as one of 12 BPC Executive Board Members, who also include former D.C. United forward Quincy Amarikwa, Chicago Fire forward C.J. Sapong, Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis and D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of tireless work from the black players pool over these past few weeks,” Amarikwa said in a statement about the coalition. “We are here to make measurable changes not only in Major League Soccer but also in our communities.
“In addition to solidifying the black player pool, we’ve already established an open line of communication with the Major League Soccer Players Association and Major League Soccer to execute initiatives to solve the racial inequalities we’ve personally experienced within the league. As we’ve mentioned, our initiatives are aimed at, but not limited to; diversification hiring practices, league-wide cultural education courses, and deeper development of the game in black communities,” Amarikwa went on to say in the statement.
In the midst of recent tragedies as a result of police brutality in America, players alike have stepped up in attempts to make an impact from social injustices occurring in the country that have long went unheard.
United States Men’s National Team goalkeeper Zack Steffen, formerly of the Black & Gold, recently helped launch VOYCEnow, a platform that allows athletes and fans to voice their concerns and help fight for equality and justice. BPC is yet another platform to give black players a way for their voices to be heard, this time tailored slightly more to home given its direct ties to MLS.
“We look forward to establishing our own website and channels to get you direct updates on the important work that our organization will be carrying out now and well into the future,” Amarikwa said.