“Soccer isn’t the same as Bach or Buddhism. But it is often more deeply felt than religion, and just as much a part of the community’s fabric, a repository of traditions.”
― Franklin Foer, How Soccer Explains the World
Sometimes, soccer is so much more than 22 players, a ball, and a pitch.
Soccer has a unique way of uniting us during our most difficult times. It brings communities together when we can’t make sense of our surroundings. It helps us take pause amid the chaos and injustice of life. And most of all it helps us move forward from our darkest days.
We saw that last year in Orlando after the deadly terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub.
Now, we are witnessing a similar storyline as America wrestles with the aftermath of the events that took place in Charlottesville on August 11 and 12. Charlottesville was a tragic reminder that racism and hate are still very real in the U.S. Despite how far we’ve come, there is still so much more to be done.
In the days and weeks following Charlottesville, supporters groups turned MLS stadiums around the country into political mouthpieces. And in doing so, they reminded us that soccer is often much more than a game.
Soccer is a catalyst for political activism, unity and community development.