Soccer For All

Philadelphia Union boss Jim Curtin: Black Lives Matter is about human equality, not politics

Jim Curtin - Philadelphia Union - July 14, 2020

Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin doesn't believe the embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement by his team and MLS should fade anytime soon, and in his most recent media availability, had a strong message for anyone who thinks otherwise.

"It’s a unique time for sure, but I also think that things can’t die down," Curtin said. "Yes, there are going to be people that are upset that we’re still wearing certain T-shirts on the sidelines, but the reality is we have the support of our owners, which we’re all grateful for, and if you’re not for equality for all human beings you shouldn’t come to the stadium."

The league has publicly embraced the BLM cause in recent months in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May. The Union have been among the teams leading the way in advocating for the equal treatment of all people, especially those in the Black community that have been most impacted by structural racism.

Curtin said the support club ownership has given to the cause is a direct result of some of his most vocal Black players' efforts to explain their perspectives.

"It speaks to the work of a lot of our players here," he said. "Not to single out just a couple, but the work that Ray Gaddis, Warren Creavalle, Mark McKenzie, speaking with our ownership and getting those initiatives passed through.

"You see what LeBron James has done in the NBA opening up stadiums (as voting locations). … It’s great to have ownership that’s supportive of those initiatives. It’s not Republican vs Democrat. It’s just equal human rights, and if people aren’t on board with that I don’t know what to say."