On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, the Atlanta United was set and ready for their game, following the impressive win against Nashville in their home stadium. They were looking forward to the match against the newly-formed Florida team backed by soccer great David Beckham and seeing stars like Blaise Matuidi show their talent and skills. However, a few hours before their game versus Inter Miami FC, the team decided to boycott the match in protest of the shooting of 29-year-old African American Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
Atlanta United posted this message on their social media account: “We stand in solidarity with the Black community, with our players, our city and our fans in the fight against injustice. We must use our voices to be the change.”
Player Jeff Larentowicz also shared this statement: “We want to let all of the fans know that we made a collective decision between both locker rooms to not play tonight to stand up and fight for social change.”
This was also in line with the decision by NBA teams to boycott their respective games that day. It sent a message that they did not want to just stand by and do nothing about such injustices. Along with their vow to create community-involved plans of action for social change, they wanted to make a statement.
It was great to see Atlanta United go beyond the game and stand up for what is right and to demand change.