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Major League Soccer Collaborates with Black Players for Change Organization to Acknowledge Juneteenth Holiday!


Major League Soccer (MLS) is joining forces with Black Players for Change (BPC) and adidas to honor Juneteenth with a special initiative that underscores the holiday’s significance, celebrates players as agents of change, and emphasizes the work still needed to achieve equality.


Central to this collaboration is the introduction of a special edition pre-match “I AM #19” shirt, designed by adidas Licensed Sports Graphics Manager Todd Stansbury. These shirts will be worn by players during pre-match warm-ups for MLS matches taking place between June 15 and June 19.



“Juneteenth is a day to honor the power and promise of the human spirit,” stated Sola Winley, Executive Vice President, Chief Engagement and Inclusion Officer of Major League Soccer. “MLS is a community of players from 79 countries, who will join together to amplify in unison the enduring message of freedom and change. A heartfelt thank you to our friends at Black Players for Change, and our incredibly supportive partners at adidas for celebrating the beauty in all.”

In addition to the “I AM #19” shirts, MLS, BPC, and adidas are launching the “Generations” campaign. This initiative kicks off with a photoshoot featuring FC Cincinnati and U.S. Men’s National Team defender Miles Robinson and will include a short film set for release in the coming days. The “Generations” campaign highlights how soccer represents courage, resilience, and a path to opportunity and freedom across generations, connecting first team professionals and Academy players, and emphasizing unity, empowerment, and progress within the soccer community.


“It is so important to recognize the ongoing work that Black Players for Change has done and will continue to do for the African American community,” said FC Cincinnati’s Miles Robinson. “MLS, adidas, and BPC have provided a platform to celebrate, honor, and educate the league and our fans about African American history with this year’s Juneteenth pre-match tops. It is key to use these efforts as steppingstones to a brighter, more just future for all.”
Allen Hopkins Jr., Executive Director of Black Players for Change, added, “Juneteenth holds profound significance in the history and culture of our community, and the 2024 pre-match tops symbolize Black Players for Change's ongoing commitment to honor the past while inspiring future generations. Through this collaboration and partnership with Major League Soccer and Adidas, the pre-match tops serve as a powerful reminder of our shared journey and the progress we continue to strive for within the sport and beyond. They embody the principles of equality and connectedness, emphasizing that when we stand together, we are stronger and more unified in our pursuit of advancement and equality.”

Fans are encouraged to participate in the celebration by wearing the special “I AM #19” pre-match shirt. MLS will also highlight educational content and storytelling around Juneteenth across its digital and social media platforms, ensuring that the day is widely recognized throughout the league.


For more information on the Juneteenth initiative please visit www.MLSsoccer.com. The “I AM #19” pre-match tops can be purchased at MLSstore.com and at stadium retail locations. A portion of the proceeds will be going to support initiatives and organizations focused on racial equity and social justice.

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