2022 NWSL expansion team Angel City FC announced Wednesday they are launching an initiative called the Anti-Racist Project alongside several other entities in the soccer world, with the intention of “tackling racism in soccer and society” with an “action-based approach.”
Soccer is a driver for change. ✊— Angel City FC (@weareangelcity) February 24, 2021
Together with leaders in our sport, we’re taking an action-based approach to tackling systemic racism in soccer and society through the Anti-Racist Project. pic.twitter.com/zr5xgaFMr6
Angel City FC is teaming up with Common Goal, a global social impact collective, former USMNT and MLS defender Tony Sanneh, MLS side Chicago Fire, USL Championship expansion side Oakland Roots, U.S. National Team supporter group the American Outlaws, with U.S. Men’s National Team and Manchester City goalkeeper pledging his individual support to the project.
From the release: “This ground-breaking coalition, forged by a shared determination to act, aims to fund and implement a toolkit designed by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) experts across the U.S. soccer landscape that will provide anti-racist training for players, coaches, fans, club staff and executives from grassroots to elite level. With existing resources from the launch partners the project will train 5,000 coaches, 60,000 young people, and 115 staff in over 400 communities in the first year. With more support this positive impact will be accelerated and scaled, therefore the members of the coalition are inviting all industry stakeholders interested in making soccer more equitable to join the project, first in the U.S. and then internationally.”
The Anti-Racist Project is calling on all stakeholders in the sport in the United States, including fans and supporters, to join in and pledge support in a myriad of ways.
To that end, “in honor of the Anti-Racist Project announcement, ACFC and local LA artist Chris Burnett of Colibri Studios collaborated to create a commemorative collection featuring a design that embodies the power of sport to unite across all barriers. The collection is available HERE and ACFC will donate 100% of the profits of the first 1,000 units sold to support the Anti-Racist Project and after that, ACFC will continue to support the initiative with 10% of additional sales profits.”
“Angel City FC’s mission is to make an impact on and off-the-field, and our partnership with Common Goal is a natural extension of our commitment to equity in sports. We are proud to support this important initiative and very much look forward to working with Common Goal and the other great partners involved to develop a powerful curriculum and supporting in any way we can,” said Julie Uhrman, Co-Founder and President, Angel City FC in a statement.
Additionally, Angel City FC is hosting a week of panel discussions in honor of Black History Month and the Anti-Racist Project initiative. The first two videos of the events are on YouTube, with the rest added after they are complete. You can tune into the discussion live on Wednesday or Friday, and also on Thursday if you’re an ACFC member.
After the news of the DoorDash jersey sponsorship last week left some supporters feeling like Angel City FC as less progressive than they hoped they would be, I won’t say these efforts to root out racism will even everything out, but they are setting their bar very high and helping to push both our general soccer bubble and American society overall forward. This is a great start and here’s hoping they — and we all — continue this vital work.
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