After MLS’s painfully slow reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, the teams themselves have been popping off with their own forms of support.
The MLS Is Back Tournament opened with a match between Inter Miami and Orlando City. The teams made a powerful statement by taking a knee around the center circle.
Following this, the Philadelphia Union changed the names on the backs of their jerseys. Instead of having their own last name, the jerseys showcased the names of Black individuals murdered by police violence. Premier League players wore "Black Lives Matter" on the backs of their jerseys when the league resumed last month.
Breonna Taylor. Tamair Rice. Alton Sterling. Laquan McDonald. Philando Castille. Mike Brown. Eric Garner. Freddie Gray. John Crawford. And more. But how many more?#BlackLivesMatter #MLSisBack https://t.co/Ft4OR07Lba— Drake Hills (@LiveLifeDrake) July 9, 2020
The team also fashioned an armband for captain Alejando Bedoya to wear, also with the names.
— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) July 9, 2020
Montreal Impact coach Thierry Henry took a knee for the first 8:46 — the amount of time Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck to murder him — in the matchup between his team and the New England Revolution on Thursday night.
Thierry Henry took a knee for the first 8:46 of tonight's match in memory of George Floyd.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 10, 2020
No one should be silent on this issue. These players and coaches are using their platforms to keep the conversation going. We can’t forget, and we need to see more.