MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis 901 FC is joining athletes across the country in protest as the team postpones its game at North Carolina Saturday.
“We, the Memphis 901 FC Players, have collectively decided to not play our match against North Carolina FC this weekend,” reads a statement. “Due to the suffering and injustices that we continue to see taking place in this country, we felt that this weekend would be best served as a time for reflection and education rather than for sport.”
The players’ statement continues: “With this being the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s ’I Have a Dream’ speech, we are reminded of those who came before us and forged a path towards racial equality. We strive to continue their work through our united voice.”
Players will convene at AutoZone Park Plaza at 10 a.m. Saturday and march to the National Civil Rights Museum, stopping at the “I Am A Man” mural along the way. Players will then tour the museum as a team.
The 901 FC organization and United Soccer League both released statements in support of the players.
901 FC: “We fully support the decision of our players to not play this weekend and take the time to reflect, react and use their platform to bring awareness and action to social justice issues in our country. We stand with our Black players, staff, supporters and the entire Black community in Memphis in being United Against Racism.”
USL: “The United Soccer League fully supports the decision made by the Memphis 901 FC players to not play in this weekend’s match. As such, the game, which was originally scheduled to be played against North Carolina FC on Saturday night at WakeMed Soccer Park, will be postponed and rescheduled to a later date.”
The players’ statement says supporters are welcome to join the team on the march. Advanced tickets are required to tour the National Civil Rights Museum.