Major League Soccer, Black Players for Change (BPC), and the MLS Players Association (MLSPA) today launched MLS Unites to Vote, a League-wide, non-partisan initiative to help players, staff and fans register to vote and participate in this year’s election.
Kicking off in advance of National Black Voter Day (Friday, Sept. 18) and National Voter Registration Day (Tuesday, Sept. 22), MLS Unites to Vote will leverage enterprise-wide platforms to educate our community on the voting process, drive voter registration, encourage volunteerism on election day, and showcase the efforts of MLS clubs and players.
In addition, MLS front office and U.S.-based club facilities will be closed on Election Day (Tuesday, November 3), to ensure that everyone in the MLS community can exercise their right to vote and serve their community as a poll worker or nonpartisan election volunteer.
“Participation in local and national elections is one of the most important responsibilities we have as citizens. Major League Soccer and our players recognize the opportunity we have to leverage our platform to amplify the importance of voting,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “We hope to inspire MLS fans and the entire soccer community to educate themselves about the voting process, register to vote, and vote on Election Day.”
MLS is teaming up with Power the Polls, a first-of-its-kind, nonpartisan initiative of businesses and nonprofits working to recruit a new generation of young, diverse poll workers to help ensure a safe and secure election this November. MLS will also become a member of the Civic Alliance, a nonpartisan network of more than 200 companies working together to encourage voter participation.
“We’re proud to partner with Major League Soccer and so grateful to the soccer community that is stepping up to help ensure the upcoming election is safe, fair, and accessible for all," said Scott Duncombe, co-director of Power the Polls. "With less than 50 days to the November in-person election, addressing the poll worker shortage is more urgent than ever. The shortage threatens our democracy, puts our older population at risk, and disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. Power the Polls is committed to working to sign up enough poll workers and volunteers to keep polling sites open, staffed, efficient, and functioning. Thank you, Major League Soccer for joining us in this effort."
“Major League Soccer is strengthening our democracy by empowering their players and fans with tools to register to vote and participate in this year’s election,” said Steven Levine, Civic Alliance Director. “By standing up as strong champions for nonpartisan civic participation, professional sports leagues, teams and players are helping to create a future where voting is celebrated and all Americans make their voices heard. We salute Major League Soccer for joining the Civic Alliance and helping to lead this movement.”
The Black Players for Change have identified voter registration as a major point of emphasis as part of their continued efforts to foster change. In partnership with the MLSPA, BPC has mobilized the entire MLS player pool around voter registration, focusing on a player’s civic duty, not preferred candidates, political parties or platforms.
For more information on BPC’s voter initiatives please visit blackplayersforchange.org.
Below is a sampling of how the MLS community is uniting to educate, elevate and activate the soccer community around voting.
MLS is focused on providing resources and programming that draws awareness to the voting process, emphasizes the importance of voting and explains the process to register. This information will be readily available as part of a centralized online hub and will contain a resource guide on registration, key dates, content about club and player activations, and links to registration and voting resources and organizations for fans.
Using the League’s platform to amplify voter registration messages, MLS will elevate our soccer community posts on social media, club programing and content that highlights the importance of voting and encourages people to engage in the election process.
MLS has partnered with Power the Polls to engage in mobilizing young citizens to sign up as poll workers. In partnership with the Civic Alliance, MLS fans will also be encouraged to text VOTER to 26797 to register to vote, sign-up for elections reminders, and request a mail-in ballot. In addition, MLS clubs are executing community-based voting related projects with the objective to register American voters among the MLS fan base.