A prevailing theme during the MLS is Back Tournament has been the players' show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Philadelphia Union midfielder Warren Creavalle used his passion for design to help, creating the shirts that have been worn by MLS players, coaches and staff throughout the tournament. Creavalle explained the process behind creating the shirts (pictured above and below) in an interview with ESPN's Tom Marshall published on Tuesday.
"I remember them asking if I would be able to turn a design around in a couple of days, and thankfully my wheels were already spinning from working on the other shirts for the [Black Players for Change], so I was already in that mode," Creavalle told Marshall. "It was a really quick process."
"To be clear, this is not your distraction, it's not your escape from real life," the statement reads. "For some, this is everyday life. This is not politics, it's not black vs. white, it's human RIGHTS. Silence is violence. In certain cases, silence was suffocation. This is not meant for your comfort, it's not meant to be a trend. It's meant for your awareness, understanding, and mobilization. If you're not uncomfortable, you're doing it wrong. MLS is back, but Black Lives still Matter. They mattered yesterday, they matter today, and they MUST matter tomorrow."
"To me that's basically the declaration of what you're signing up for by wearing this shirt," Creavalle explained. "The word "rights" is written in capital letters because it is "the core piece of this [movement]."
"Those are my words. Those are my feelings," he said. "I wanted it to be very representative of what we [the BPC] as a group were feeling, of what this moment is about and what it's not about."