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A call to service on MLK Day

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Dr. King’s call for service is one we can all accept.

Wales v USA - International Friendly Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Martin Luther King Day. It’s a day where as a nation, we pause to reflect on the life of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his efforts to bring equality and civil rights to black people all across the United States.

Throughout the day, you’ll see messages from scores of people that highlight some of the many famous words of the late civil rights leader, but one thing that was a point of emphasis on this 3rd Monday in January was a call to serve our community. Whether it was cleaning up a park or packing food for the homeless, millions of people turned out in their communities to give back.

That call has been lost a bit over the past few years, but in light of both the USMNT and the USWNT asking all of us to be a part of the solution, their largest supporters group has answered the call:

Among the many things Martin Luther King taught us was the importance of service. Of giving your time and effort to help...

Posted by The American Outlaws on Monday, January 18, 2021

Full disclosure: I’m on the national committee of the American Outlaws.

The call to pledge a day of service at some point in 2021 is an excellent one, and one that I would push everyone here to accept in their own way. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic precludes all of us from participating in a project safely today, but when it’s safe, the call to serve will be more important than ever before. And, as fans of the beautiful game in this country, we can volunteer with organizations and initiatives that are helping to improve the game in the United States.

I’m here today to do two things. First, I’m accepting that call to service. I’m pledging to help the Black Players for Change and Black Women’s Player Collective in their new mini-pitch initiative. They hope to create 12 mini pitches across the country, and in collaboration with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, I’ll pledge to help the 2 projects that are expected to be in my hometown. More accessible places for children to play the game and develop their talent will only create a stronger player pool in the future.

The other thing I will do is extend that challenge to all of you out there reading this. If everyone pledged a day of service to make the game more accessible in their community, think of how much good we can do in a short time, and it would only be the start.

The players have asked us as fans to Be The Change, and it’s a call that I accept. I’m hoping all of you out there can pledge to do the same. Hit the comments, and let us know what community service activity you will pledge to do in 2021 on this Martin Luther King Day to honor his and the players’ call to service.