In a groundbreaking effort to honor Juneteenth and amplify the voices of the Black community within and beyond the realm of sports, Major League Soccer (MLS) has announced an array of initiatives in collaboration with Adidas and Black Players for Change (BPC).

BPC is an independent organization of Black MLS players, coaches, and staff dedicated to bridging the racial equality gap in soccer and society.

The 2024 celebrations not only recognize the significance of Juneteenth but also underscore the ongoing work needed to achieve true equality.

“I AM #19” Pre-Match Shirts

One of the highlights of this year’s celebration is the introduction of the special edition “I AM #19” pre-match shirt.

This shirt, designed by adidas Licensed Sports Graphics Manager Todd Stansbury, pays homage to Juneteenth and celebrates all players as agents of change.

Players will don these shirts during pre-match warm-ups from June 15 to June 19.

“Juneteenth is a day to honor the power and promise of the human spirit,” said Sola Winley, Executive Vice President, Chief Engagement and Inclusion Officer of Major League Soccer.

“MLS is a community of players from 79 countries, who will join together to amplify in unison the enduring message of freedom and change. A heartfelt thank you to our friends at Black Players for Change, and our incredibly supportive partners at adidas for celebrating the beauty in all.”

The “Generations” Campaign

Complementing the “I AM #19” tops, MLS, BPC, and adidas are launching the “Generations” campaign.

This campaign, which kicks off with a photoshoot featuring FC Cincinnati and U.S. Men’s National Team defender Miles Robinson, aims to convey the message that for generations, soccer has represented courage, resilience, and a pathway to opportunity and freedom.

The campaign will also include a short film, set to be released in the coming days, highlighting the generational connection between first-team professionals and Academy players, emphasizing unity, empowerment, and progress within the soccer community.

“It is so important to recognize the ongoing work that Black Players for Change has done and will continue to do for the African American community,” said Miles Robinson.

“MLS, adidas, and BPC have provided a platform to celebrate, honor, and educate the league and our fans about African American history with this year’s Juneteenth pre-match tops. It is key to use these efforts as stepping stones to a brighter, more just future for all.”

A Commitment to Equality

The pre-match tops symbolize BPC’s unwavering commitment to honoring the past while inspiring future generations.

Allen Hopkins Jr., Executive Director of Black Players for Change, emphasized the importance of this collaboration.

“Juneteenth holds profound significance in the history and culture of our community, and the 2024 pre-match tops symbolize Black Players for Change’s ongoing commitment to honor the past while inspiring future generations. Through this collaboration and partnership with Major League Soccer and Adidas, the pre-match tops serve as a powerful reminder of our shared journey and the progress we continue to strive for within the sport and beyond. They embody the principles of equality and connectedness, emphasizing that when we stand together, we are stronger and more unified in our pursuit of advancement and equality.”

Engaging the Fans

MLS is encouraging fans to participate in the celebration by wearing the special “I AM #19” pre-match shirt.

The league will also feature educational content and storytelling around Juneteenth across its digital and social media platforms, ensuring that the day is highlighted throughout the league.

For more information on the Juneteenth initiative, please visit

The “I AM #19” pre-match tops can be purchased at and at stadium retail locations.

A portion of the proceeds will support initiatives and organizations focused on racial equity and social justice.

As MLS, adidas, and BPC join forces to celebrate Juneteenth, they not only honor a pivotal moment in American history but also underscore their commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable future.

This year’s initiatives serve as a powerful reminder of the enduring fight for freedom and equality, and the transformative power of unity within the sports community.

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