MLS leverages $25 million loan to promote economic justice

Mar 10, 2022, 12:11 AM | Updated: 2:12 pm
Toronto FC's fans set off blue-and-yellow flares and hold up colored cards to show their support fo...

Toronto FC's fans set off blue-and-yellow flares and hold up colored cards to show their support for Ukraine during the first half of an MLS soccer match against the New York Red Bulls, in Toronto, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

Major League Soccer will leverage a $25 million loan from a coalition of Black-owned banks in an effort to promote economic equity and justice.

The partnership announced Thursday with the nonprofit National Black Bank Foundation aims to grow the banks’ capital through interest earned and fees — which in turn creates the capacity for new lines of credit for loans in communities of color.

MLS says it is the first time a major sports league in the United States has entered into a major transaction with exclusively Black-owned banks.

Ashley Bell, NBBF founder and general counsel, said the result will be access to capital for prospective home owners, businesses and faith-based organizations.

“So when you talk about why this matters, it matters because this gives a chance for a sense of pride in our community, to see that our Black banks from across the country are able to do a deal with a world-class organization with the most diverse fan base in the world, to be able to say that we can do exactly what Chase, Bank of America or any other bank can do, by joining together,” Bell said. “This is us working together proving that we’re good enough, we’re strong enough to get a deal done just as quickly as anybody else and we did that.”

The loan is part of the league’s endeavors to combat racism and advocate for social justice, announced in October 2020. The league is working with the MLS group Black Players for Change.

Sola Winley, MLS executive vice president and head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said the financing would be used for strategic investments and priorities but has not been earmarked.

Black Players for Change was founded by Justin Morrow in 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd. The group made a powerful statement of unity at the MLS is Back Tournament that year during which the players stood silent with fists raised for more than 8 minutes — signifying the length of time police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck before he died.

“I think that was a seed that was planted and one that I think is starting to blossom and show fruits, of the labor and work and sacrifice and dedication of every member who invested their time, attention, resources, resharing, commenting, liking,” said Quincy Amarikwa, who played in MLS for 11 seasons and is now with the Oakland Roots. “I think we knew that it was necessary and needed. And I think every day we’re grateful for for what we’re seeing as a result of it. We hope to continue to facilitate that going forward.”


More AP soccer: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) is helped off the field after suffering a leg injur...
Associated Press

Analysis: Backups, be ready. NFL’s QB carousel is spinning

The NFL’s quarterback carousel may start spinning a bit faster. Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Allen got banged-up Sunday. Justin Herbert and Jameis Winston played hurt. Already, Dak Prescott and Trey Lance have gone down. Backups, be ready. Jones’ leg injury appears most serious. The second-year pro hopped off the field late in the […]
24 hours ago
Kansas tight end Trevor Kardell (45) is chased by Duke defensive back Joshua Pickett (26) as he run...
Associated Press

AP Top 25 Reality Check: Unbeaten Kansas left out again

Not quite, Kansas. A 4-0 start put the Jayhawks atop the others receiving votes pile Sunday in The Associated Press college football poll presented by Regions Bank, 41 points behind No. 25 Kansas State. The Jayhawks have not been ranked since mid-October 2009, a dry spell of nearly 13 years that is currently the longest […]
24 hours ago
California running back Jaydn Ott, left, runs the ball for a 73-yard touchdown against Arizona duri...
Associated Press

STAT WATCH: Ott’s 274 yards rushing for Cal FBS season high

California freshman Jaydn Ott turned in the best rushing performance of the season with 274 yards and three touchdowns on just 19 carries against Arizona. Ott had TD runs of 73, 72 and 18 yards Saturday while running for the most yards since Tyrion Davis-Price of LSU went for 287 on 36 carries against Florida […]
24 hours ago
United States' Ariel Atkins shoots at goal as South Korea's Kim Danbi , left, attempts to block dur...
Associated Press

US has record performance in 145-69 rout of South Korea

SYDNEY (AP) — A’ja Wilson and the U.S. put on quite a show, breaking the World Cup scoring mark in a record rout of South Korea. Brionna Jones scored 24 points and Wilson added 20 to help the U.S. beat South Korea 145-69 on Monday. Shakira Austin’s layup with 9 seconds left helped the Americans […]
24 hours ago
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Denver Broncos during the f...
Associated Press

Broncos, Wilson edge Niners, Garoppolo 11-10 in prime time

DENVER (AP) — Nine three-and-outs. No touchdown passes. Only 126 yards passing. It was one of the ugliest games of Russell Wilson’s storied career. To him, it was a thing of beauty. “We’re still learning each other as a whole new system,” Wilson said after the Broncos grinded out an 11-10 win over the San […]
24 hours ago
New York Yankees' Jose Trevino (39) hits an RBI single to score Oswaldo Cabrera during the fourth i...
Associated Press

Judge still at 60, Yanks get rain-shortened win over Red Sox

NEW YORK (AP) — Stunted by the rain Sunday night, Aaron Judge is taking his record chase on the road. Judge remained at 60 home runs, one short of Roger Maris’ American League mark, when the New York Yankees’ 2-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox was called after six innings because of heavy showers. […]
24 hours ago
MLS leverages $25 million loan to promote economic justice