In June, amidst a summer characterized by a nationwide movement to dismantle systemic racism and injustice, we released a statement in solidarity with those fighting on the side of change. And now, as we are in the midst of our fall season, we’ve been working to codify that solidarity—one of the first steps towards doing so was sharing the video below with our participants.
In June, we said, “In soccer, the average player spends less than 5% of the game with the ball. The outcome of the match relies much less on what you do when you have the ball and everyone is watching, and much more on what you do without it, when you think no one is watching. You communicate. You create space. You listen. You defend. You support. You lift up. To do this, you draw on the foundations of the hard, uncomfortable work you’ve already put in, challenging yourself and your teammates on a daily basis.”
Since then, we have been working as an organization to embody the values that we laid out, and create a more just, equitable, and inclusive Soccer Without Borders.
On the precipice of a new season, welcoming new participants and old ones, we wanted to cement our commitment to supporting the movement for racial justice in our programs and beyond. One of our goals this fall was to be ready to support our teams as they have conversations about the state of the world around them. We had a lot of conversations with each other, our participants, and other community members about how to best show up for our people at this time. This IGTV video is the result of that process. It has been shared with SWB participants and teams, and now we would like to share it with you.