This weekend the Philadelphia Union will be wearing a special kit when they take on Atlanta United Sunday afternoon. The special kit is to celebrate Juneteenth and was part of a collaboration between MLS and the Black Players for Change organization. Also happening as part of this weekend’s celebration is the playing of the Black National Anthem before all the matches this weekend.
The jersey numbers presented in a bold, empowering, red, black and green pattern.The colors are inspired by Black culture and symbolize ancestry, liberation and cultural vibrancy. The Indianapolis artist, Israel Solomon, had this to say about collaborating with the league on the special kit, “After collaborating with MLS and BPC, their clear vision to use this piece as a means to celebrate and educate led to the creation of something that was bold, prideful, and visually attractive.”
The game-worn jerseys and the boxes they were presented in will be auctioned off after the game. Proceeds from the auction will benefit organizations supporting and uplifting local Black communities here in the Philadelphia region.
Juneteenth celebrates the end of Slavery. Even though President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War. It took two years before African Americans were freed in Texas. It wasn’t until Union soldiers arrived on June 19,1865 that the state’s residents learned that slavery was abolished. Once the former slaves learned of the news they started to celebrate with prayer, song and dance.