Ahead of the MLS is Back season opener on Wednesday in Orlando, more than 150 Black players raised their right fists and took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Players wore shirts with messages like, “Black and Proud,” “Silence is Violence,” and “Black All the Time,” as well as masks with the words “Black Lives Matter.” All 22 starters from Orlando and Miami, plus the match officials, lowered themselves to one knee in solidarity.
“Our fight for change continues,” the Portland Timbers shared in a post on Twitter.
The powerful demonstration lasted approximately eight minutes and 46 seconds; the same amount of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck. The death of the 46-year-old Black man has sparked public outcry and national protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
MLS players involved in the Black Players for Change coalition, which was formed on Juneteenth, helped lead the protest.
The Timbers will make their return to the field and MLS is Back debut on July 13 vs. the LA Galaxy.
Black MLS players raise fists in support of Black Lives Matter originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest