The Chicago Fire FC are really hurting right now in the Major League Soccer table, but at least they’ll be dressed for success tonight when they host D.C. United. The Fire are taking part in a league-wide Juneteenth initiative through MLS’ partnership with Black Players for Change (BPC) – an independent organization of Black MLS players, coaches, and staff working to bridge the racial equality gap in soccer and society.
In every MLS match this weekend, the jerseys will feature Juneteenth-inspired numbers designed by Judah, a Black queer artist from Childersburg, Alabama. The yellow, green, and red color palette represents the blood, soil and prosperity of Africa and its people. Have a look at the numbers:
(Credit: Chicago Fire FC)
After the match, the jerseys will be auctioned off, with the proceeds to benefit My Block My Hood My City – a Chicago organizations providing education programs for teens. Hopefully, the Fire will be able to bring home a win tonight in these unique, commemorative digits.
If you’re still unsure of what Juneteenth is, well, unfortunately, so are a lot of other Americans. Our education system has failed on this one. Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas.
For more about it, go here.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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