It’s impossible to witness what has happened within the last few months, especially the last few weeks, with Jacob Blake, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and not be impacted as black men and equally as Human Beings. In order for us to achieve healing and progress, we must come together – Black, White, Latino, Indigenous, People of Color, ALL OF US – to confront the painful realities of racism, police brutality and Injustice in order to create a unified plan ahead to achieve Justice and Equity. We are proud of our fellow Black athletes across the NBA, WNBA, MLS, MLB and athletes around the world standing up to show that we are more than athletes, we are Leaders. Today, we come together to join in that fight for Justice.
On Sunday, August 30, the Black Players Coalition, currently made up of the only four black players in Major League Lacrosse, and Commissioner Sandy Brown discussed the sense of urgency to advance the dialogue of social justice and achieve measurable change in race relations within our league and the country. We had a candid and impassioned meeting together where the depth of the pains we are feeling and realization of the magnitude of the moment were appreciated on both sides. We are encouraged that our message was heard. Together, we as players, along with the Commissioner and the league as a whole, must be united to condemn racism, police brutality, social injustice and hatred. It is imperative we work together to orchestrate change.
Following the national tragedies surrounding Jacob Blake and the Kenosha shooting, the Black Players Coalition is here to hold MLL accountable to enact demonstrable action and measurable hange. We want to see MLL commit to social justice initiatives around the country, but especially in the communities in which it operates. We want to see teams and players more actively involved in economic, social and community investment in underprivileged communities. At the league itself, we want to see a robust diversity and inclusion program for the league front-office and each team. And more broadly, we want the league and its players to invest time and resources into voting initiatives ahead of the November 2020 election.
Together, we will set the standard for being a true ally through the exclusivity of lacrosse.
It has been uplifting to see athletes take action to benefit their communities, with their voices supported by their respective leagues. We understand that we are no different. We are advocates for change during this global movement. It is emotionally, mentally and spiritually exhausting to watch our people being shot and killed due to police brutality, racial divide and killing of people of color during this time. As professional lacrosse players, we understand the impact we can create within the communities in which we represent. With that being said, we are providing services and resources that will propel and improve the environment for people of color in underrepresented communities.
While these conversations can be uncomfortable, we must work to create accountability and change for a healthier orld for all.
We desire to play this game of Lacrosse that we love. But, we are men first and must equally see our people be successful in the overall game of life.
Signed in One Unified Voice,
Kris Alleyne, Mark Ellis, Isaiah Davis-Allen, and Chad Toliver
The MLL Black Players Coalition