New York City FC announced that they have formed a multi-year partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation in order to further support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Major League Soccer’s support of the movement was showcased during the MLS is Back tournament where players and coaches wore shirts that supported the movement along with silent protests prior to every game. NYCFC are furthering their support of the cause with this partnership where they are looking to make an impact with the movement within the five boroughs.
About the Foundation and NYCFC’s Connection
The Jackie Robinson Foundation, formed in 1973 by Jackie Robinson’s wife Rachel Robinson, seeks to address the achievement gap in higher education. Among the founders of the foundation is current NYCFC Vice Chairman Marty Edelman. Along with helping found the foundation, Edelman used to be an attorney for Jackie Robinson and has been working with the foundation since its inception as a founding board member. Edelman adds, “I was privileged to work with Jackie Robinson in his career as a courageous civil rights leader as well as business leader – focused on promoting opportunity for Black Americans. It has been an honor to work with Rachel Robinson, an iconic leader of improving educational opportunities for young Black Americans, to create the Jackie Robinson Foundation. To be part of the opportunity to join NYCFC and JRF in the campaign against racism follows in that tradition.”
How the Club will be Involved
The club will support the foundation with a multi-year grant that a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar within the five boroughs will receive in the Spring of 2021. The scholar selected will receive a four-year scholarship and will also be able to participate in the Foundation’s Mentoring and Leadership Development Program. Another facet of the partnership includes educating staff on training and educational programming along with developing a strategy to diversify the applicants for the club’s internship program. A part of the partnership that fans will be able to see at games will be an annual home game that will honor Black Lives heritage, along with the foundation and its scholars being involved in club events.
Players for the club will also be involved through education, training, and an ambassador program. NYCFC’s CEO Brad Sims on the partnership, “This partnership will continue to grow and expand creatively over the years with the aim of ensuring that Jackie Robinson’s commitment to equal opportunity and humanitarianism will be carried forward in the lives of our players, fans, staff and partners using the power of soccer.”
This announcement comes off the back of the club creating eleven initiatives in order to support Black Lives Matter just a little over a month ago. This is a big first step for the club by partnering with a foundation associated with one of the most influential figures in fighting racism in the sports world and beyond.
The full press release by the club is available here: https://www.nycfc.com/post/2020/08/17/new-york-city-fc-and-jackie-robinson-foundation-announce-multi-year-partnership