MLS, Black Players for Change (BPC) and the MLS Players Association (MLSPA) on Thursday announced the launch of 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.
MLS Unites to Vote, which begins in advance of National Black Voter Day (Friday, Sept. 18) and National Voter Registration Day (Tuesday, Sept. 22), aims to educate the MLS community on the voting process, drive voter registration, encourage volunteerism on Election Day and showcase the efforts of MLS clubs and players.
The league also announced that the MLS front office and U.S.-based club facilities will be closed on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) to ensure that everyone in the MLS community can 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 in a statement. “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 has teamed up with Power the Polls, a 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 is also becoming a member of the Civic Alliance, a nonpartisan network of more than 200 companies working together to encourage voter participation.
Black Players for Change identified voter registration as a vital 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 players' civic duty, not preferred candidates, political parties or platforms.
The entire MLS community is uniting to educate, elevate and activate the soccer community around voting. MLS has a new online hub that contains a resource guide, voter registration messages will be amplified on social media and MLS fans are encouraged to text VOTER to 26797 to register to vote, sign-up for election reminders and request a mail-in ballot.
For more information on MLS Unites to Vote, visit MLSsoccer.com/Vote.
“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."
“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."