As part of Major League Soccer's Juneteenth celebrations, all MLS players will wear "Freedom To Be" jersey numbers. The jerseys are presented to players in a special box Juneteenth box featuring the poem “Freedom,” by the legendary African American poet, novelist, and social activist Langston Hughes.


Freedom will not come

Today, this year

      Nor ever

Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right

As the other fellow has

      To stand

On my two feet

And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,

Let things take their course.

Tomorrow is another day.

I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.

I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.


      Is a strong seed


      In a great need.

      I live here, too.

      I want my freedom

      Just as you.

Written in 1949, at a time when African Americans continued to face intense racism, disenfranchisement, and segregation, “Freedom” is unwavering in its call for freedom for African Americans. The inside of the packaging includes a space for MLS players to write a proclamation of what they are “Free To Be.”