Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow, who is retiring after a 12-year MLS career, has been named the 2021 MLS Works Humanitarian of the Year.
Morrow has served as the executive director of Black Players for Change since its inception in 2020, helping launch the organization of more than 170 MLS players, coaches and staff working to bridge the racial equality gap.
Black Players for Change joined the More Than A Vote coalition and worked with MLS and the MLS Players Association in launching a leaguewide, non-partisan initiative to drive voter registration in 2020. MLS league and club offices were closed on Election Day, MLS stadiums were opened for in-person voting, and the drive resulted in the registration of more than 95 percent of MLS players eligible to vote.
In Toronto, Morrow has supported MLSE Foundation’s Change the Game campaign and the Foundation For Black Communities, Canada’s first-ever philanthropic foundation dedicated to investing in Black communities.
In September, Morrow, who spent four seasons with San Jose and eight with Toronto FC, said he wasn't yet sure of his next step.
"I came to this decision knowing that my light is starting to shine brighter off the field than it is on the field right now," he said. "And with that comes a lot of joy. I know that I want to make this world a better place. I haven't decided which way is the best way to do that yet. Maybe it's politics, maybe it's non-profits, maybe it's running a big company."