Angel City FC is proud to be a part of the diverse coalition of soccer leaders launching the Anti-Racist Project (ARP), an action-based approach to tackling systemic racism in soccer and society.
Soccer is the most accessible and racially-diverse team sport in the world. But American soccer is not. It’s disproportionately white and upper-middle-class because of structural and systematic problems that make it inaccessible and unwelcoming to marginalized communities and especially to black and brown people. Research shows that there are three main barriers these communities face to participating in soccer: Economic, geographic and cultural barriers.
The lack of access has consequences at the top levels of soccer in the U.S.: 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.
The ARP was created by Common Goal, a global social impact collective, together with former USMNT player Tony Sanneh, Oakland Roots SC (USL), Chicago Fire FC (MLS) , Angel City FC (NWSL) and U.S National Team supporter group, the American Outlaws, to address the cultural barriers that keep communities of color from accessing the sport.
This groundbreaking coalition, forged by a shared determination to act, will fund a curriculum designed by BIPOC experts across the U.S. soccer landscape that will see 5,000 coaches, 60,000 young people, and 115 staff trained in over 400 communities in the first year. The Anti-Racism Project will scale a modified version of the successful curriculum developed by The Sanneh Foundation over the last 20 years. ACFC will join in refining the curriculum and will collaborate with local partners to begin implementing it by the end of 2021.
At ACFC, we have spent the month of February celebrating Black history and engaging in honest conversation about the role of race in our industry. With the launch of the Anti-Racist Project, we pledge to extend not just the discussion, but to take action that will foster a more equitable future for all athletes, first in the U.S., and then internationally.
The Anti-Racist Project is open to all soccer stakeholders who would like to form part of the solution to ending racism in soccer and society. To support or join the project, or for more information, please visit www.common-goal.org.