Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya is the 2022 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, Major League Soccer announced Friday.
Well-known and respected for his activism, the 35-year-old made a powerful statement earlier this year in the wake of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, by wearing an "End Gun Violence" t-shirt along with his Union teammates prior to a May 28 game against the New England Revolution. The midfielder explained the club's actions after the match, saying, “The easiest way to put it is some things are bigger than sports.”
A member of Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization advocating for gun control and against gun violence in America, the former USMNT mainstay attended a White House ceremony this year to celebrate the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
Bedoya made headlines in 2019 by grabbing a field mic to urge Congress to act against gun violence after scoring a goal against D.C. United. He's fully dedicated himself to the cause by participating in PSAs and speaking engagements, as well as tackling mental health awareness in a long-form video.
In his seventh year with the Union, Bedoya is enjoying his best season in Major League Soccer thanks to a 6g/6a output that helped Philadelphia reach MLS Cup 2022. On Saturday (4 pm ET | FOX, Univision in US; TSN, TSA Sports in Canada), the Union will face LAFC for the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy.
In recognition of his humanitarian efforts, MLS WORKS will donate $5,000 to Bedoya’s charity of choice, Group Violence Intervention.
The finalists for this year’s MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year – Bedoya, Kei Kamara of CF Montréal and Brad Stuver of Austin FC – were determined by votes from current MLS players, technical staff and front offices and media members.
MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year Winners
- 2022: Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union)
- 2021: Justin Morrow (Toronto FC)
- 2020: Black Players for Change
- 2019: Matt Lampson (LA Galaxy)
- 2018: Matt Lampson (Minnesota United)
- 2017: Ryan Hollingshead (FC Dallas)
- 2016: Matt Lampson (Chicago Fire)
- 2015: Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC)
- 2014: AJ DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy)
- 2013: Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
- 2012: Chris Seitz (FC Dallas)
- 2011: Zak Boggs (New England Revolution)
- 2010: Seth Stammler (New York Red Bulls)
- 2009: Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards); Logan Pause (Chicago Fire)
- 2008: Jose Burciaga Jr. (Colorado Rapids)
- 2007: Diego Gutierrez (Chicago Fire)
- 2006: Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
- 2005: Brian Kamler (Real Salt Lake)
- 2004: Chris Henderson (Colorado Rapids)
- 2003: Ben Olsen (D.C. United)
- 2002: Steve Jolley (MetroStars)
- 2001: Tim Howard (MetroStars)
- 2000: Abdul Thompson Conteh (San Jose Earthquakes)