In addition to their efforts in the Black Players for Change coalition within MLS, Toronto FC teammates Jozy Altidore and Justin Morrow and Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse have joined the More Than a Vote coalition to fight Black voter suppression, an effort led by nearly 50 Black athletes and celebrities that was announced Monday.
"Many in power who oppose our fight for change believe it is easier to cancel one of our votes than to find a new vote of their own," the statement read. "You need to know this and understand how it works."
The biggest threat to the Black vote, the coalition said, is COVID, which affects Black communities significantly more than white.
"In counties where Black people are the majority, death rates are 3.5 times higher than the national average," they said. "Our voting locations must offer safe, socially distanced voting. If we don’t address this now, no joke, many Black people will be forced to put their health at risk just to cast a ballot."
The immediate goals of the coalition are threefold:
- Converting as many urban stadiums and arenas into polling places.
- Combating restrictive state voting laws in the court system.
- Sharing accurate and educational information about voting to fight misinformation.
Morrow currently serves as the executive director of Black Players for Change, and Ebobisse sits on the board of directors.