MLS launches major voting initiative: MLS Unites to Vote

Major League Soccer has joined with Black Players for Change and the MLS Players Association to launch MLS Unites to Vote, a non-partisan initiative to help players, staff and fans register to vote and participate in this year’s election.

MLS will work to leverage its platforms to educate communities to promote National Black Voter Day (Friday) and National Voter Registration Day (Tuesday) and inform citizens about the voting process, voter registration, volunteerism on election day and the efforts of MLS clubs and players.

All MLS front offices and U.S.-based club facilities will be closed on Election Day to allow everyone in the MLS community to exercise their right to vote and serve their community as a poll worker or nonpartisan election volunteer. The BPC identified voter registration as a major point of emphasis of its efforts to foster change.

“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 will work with Power the Polls, a nonpartisan initiative working to recruit a new generation of young, diverse poll workers. It is also a member of the Civic Alliance, a nonpartisan network of more than 200 companies working together to encourage voter participation.

Here are some of the initiatives clubs have done or are working on ...

Atlanta United. It launched United We Vote with a focus on voter education, registration and participation. It will have all 11 eligible players registered to vote by Tuesday.

Columbus. It will host a resource hub on its website linking to VoteOhio.gov and will hold a social media campaign on Voter Registration Day, as well as create content with U.S. players to encourage fans to vote.

Houston. The Dynamo is working with the City of Houston and Harris County to raise awareness about voter registration through public service announcements and ongoing club digital support.

LAFC. Banc of California Stadium will be the first athletic facility in Los Angles to serve as a registered polling location. LAFC is working with Los Angeles County to help recruit volunteer poll workers and is encouraging club staff to serve as poll workers. 
                                
Minnesota United. Allianz Field will be used as the main ballot drop-off location for all of Ramsey County, the second-largest county in Minnesota for the general election.

NYCFC. POWER the Vote was created in collaboration with the NYCFC-supported Youth Leadership Council around social injustices across local communities and the nation.

NY Red Bulls. Employees are creating Voter Education Kits as one of the club’s 11 Days of Service  initiatives. The kits will help educate communities about all aspects of the local voting process.

Philadelphia. The Union is creating a digital experience to encourage voter registration and provide information about key upcoming dates for Pennsylvanians that need to register to vote and request mail-in ballots.

Portland. As part of the overall messaging campaign across their platforms, the Timbers and Thorns are creating a special “Vote” tee for both teams.

Seattle. The Sounders fans can visit SoundersFC.com/Vote to find links to complete their census, register to vote and sign up for election reminders. The tarps in the stadium stands, used as a safety measure to ensure distancing from the field, will include a “Vote/Vota” design created by local artist, activist and app-developer, Teddy “Stat” Phillips. CenturyLink Field will continue to serve as an official Vote Center for King County, with residents able to register to vote, cast their ballot, drop off mail-in ballots and receive other election-related assistance.

12 comments about "MLS launches major voting initiative: MLS Unites to Vote".
  1. John Bauman, September 18, 2020 at 7 a.m.

    It is heartening to see this movement that is (hopefully) unbiased.  The other PRO leagues are harming themselves by supporting a group (BLM) that wants to overthrow the USA.  MLS needs all the viewers it can get without insulting 50% of the country (and probably much higher among soccer fans) by supporting revolt.

  2. Betty Lisec replied, September 18, 2020 at 11:59 a.m.

    Totally agree!

  3. Valerie Metzler, September 18, 2020 at 8:58 a.m.

    Mr. Bauman, you are mistaken about what Black Lives Matter means.

  4. Ric Fonseca replied, September 18, 2020 at 3:22 p.m.

    I completely agree with Ms. Metzler.  

  5. Johan Aarnio, September 18, 2020 at 9:18 a.m.

    No...Mr. Bauman is 100% correct and it is also the reason I have stopped watching. 

  6. Betty Lisec replied, September 18, 2020 at noon

    You are not alone! They need to just play soccer !

  7. John Polis replied, September 18, 2020 at 1:44 p.m.

    Agree. MLS has enough to worry about without getting into politics, so personally I wish it would stay in its own lane. Plus, I'm sick of the BLM shirts, slogans and wokeness. As I see it, fans watch sports because it normally is an enjoyable diversion from everyday life and it's a place to safely release unbridled, pent-up passion about love of team and no one really cares if you do. They don't want to be force-fed a message while they are enjoying themselves.

  8. Guy Walling, September 18, 2020 at 10:18 a.m.

    Sounds like you guys are very fearful, which translates into racism. Perhaps since you want to stop watching MLS, then start watching more EPL and Serie A where racism goes unchecked and where racist fans are not held accountable. I understand it's difficult to watch athletes that hold different views than yours. Watching Trump play golf maybe more up your alley. Good rythems to ya! 

  9. John Polis replied, September 18, 2020 at 1:47 p.m.

    ... translates into racism? I suggest you re-evaluate your statement and in the future hesitate before you push people into the racist category in a discussion like this. Way too much of this these days (and for no reason). There's a whole lot we could get into about BLM, its public utterances and actions, but this is not the place.

  10. Bob Ashpole, September 18, 2020 at 1:09 p.m.

    People turn every discussion to the latest Russian troll attacks and partisan politics. Surely we can have a discussion that isn't partisan? In theory at least.

  11. Michael Taddonio, September 18, 2020 at 7:43 p.m.

    MLS would have better off advocatiing National Voter Registration Day for ALL citizens, regardless of race, creed, ethnic identity, and other traits. It would have good for ALL MLS teams to be in on this. ALL sports leagues need to be in on this.

  12. Ken Fadner replied, September 20, 2020 at 12:24 p.m.

    I think that's what they are doing.

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