Creative Soccer Culture

Common Goal Create The Anti-Racist Project

Created by Common goal, leading figures in US football have joined together to launch the the Anti-Racist Project, an action-based approach to tackling systemic racism in both the game and wider society, calling on fans, players, teams, and leagues to join the collective effort against racism.

Tired of the continual lack of action that follows the repeated condemnation of racism, the Anti-Racist Project was created by Common Goal together with former United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) player Tony Sanneh and teams from across three different professional leagues; Oakland Roots SC (USL), Chicago Fire FC (MLS), Angel City FC (NWSL) as well as the U.S National Team supporter group, the American Outlaws. Manchester City F.C. goalkeeper Zack Steffen is one the first players to pledge his individual support to the project.

Forged by a shared determination to act, the coalition aims to fund and implement a toolkit designed by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) experts across the U.S. football landscape that will provide anti-racist training for players, coaches, fans, club staff and executives from grassroot to elite level.

The project will train 5,000 coaches, 60,000 young people, and 115 staff in more than 400 communities in the first year. In order to accelerate and scale this impact, the members of the coalition are inviting all industry stakeholders interested in making football more equitable to join the project, first in the U.S. and then internationally.

Manchester City and USMNT goalkeeper and founder of VOYCENOW, Zack Steffen said: “There’s been so much talk over the last months about racism in soccer and beyond, and enough is enough. It’s time to take action. We need to show people how to be anti-racist. I wanted to join this project because it is the kind of collective action necessary to make large-scale change, and I hope that this project will go worldwide and create a new culture of inclusion in as many countries as possible.

anti racist 4-min.jpg

Evan Whitfield of Common Goal, a lawyer and former MLS player, said: “Common Goal is all about unleashing the collective power of soccer to create positive action. The Anti-Racist Project is led by a unique and diverse group prepared to aggregate their individual and organisational power. There are no Black majority owners of MLS Clubs, there are zero Black coaches in the NWSL. This needs to change, and the responsibility to make that change lies with everyone – not just people of color. We have a solution that can transform the system from top down and bottom up. I’m proud that my former club, Chicago Fire, is one of the pioneers of this project and I’m looking forward to more players, clubs and other soccer leaders joining us.

The needle doesn’t move unless everyone is involved,” said Oakland Roots defender Max Ornstil. “It’s not enough for white people to just say they support people of color. As white people we need to be willing to get uncomfortable, be vulnerable and have difficult conversations. Because change doesn’t happen without that. If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.

We want to be a part of the change that we seek in this country,” said Donald Wine, In-Stadium Chair for the American Outlaws. “As a Black man, I’ve been subjected to racial abuse in the stands and in life. We have to rid all its elements from the game. That doesn’t mean just having harsh conversations. It means actually eliminating racism from our sport and implementing real solutions that make equity and inclusion a priority in everything we do. As a supporters group, we are proud to stand with everyone calling for changing the game, and we’re ready to get started with the hard work that will be needed to eradicate racism out of soccer. 

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 impor- tant 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. 

To support or join Common Goal's Anti-Racist Project, CLICK HERE.

Daniel Jones

The Creative Soccer Culture Brief

Sign up to our newsletter and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the world of Creative Soccer Culture.