Say their names.
The Portland Timbers offered a moving tribute to victims of police brutality before their MLS is Back Tournament match Monday night, sporting pregame tops with names of those killed by police officers.
The shirts were designed by forward Jeremey Ebobisse, who’s remained vocal ever since the Black Lives Matter movement gained serious momentum in June. Each shirt read "Rest In Power" at the bottom and included the iconic BLM fist behind the player's number. As for the front, it read "Say Their Names" and featured a megaphone graphic.
"What you saw before the game and what you saw us warmup in, both of those separate shirts were a direct result of the hard work of many people to put the logistics into action so that we could send out a strong message, [with] both being that Black lives have always mattered," Ebobisse said after the 2-1 win. "It’s not because we’re in a global pandemic and everything is shut down and you see a video that they start mattering now. They always have. People have been yelling it and we just wanted to showcase the range and ways in which people have been killed, the diversity of those killed as well, even some from France as well.
"It’s been a tough moment, but I think that given the increased attention, the continued attention and the organizational structure that we’re building here among some of the players in the league with the support of others, we have the potential to change a lot of structural issues around us."
Yimmi Chara’s shirt included George Floyd’s name, while Marvin Loria’s had Breonna Taylor on it. All 26 players had a different name on their shirt, paying tribute to stories that are well-known nationwide and others that haven’t garnered as much media attention.