MLS and the National Black Bank Foundation have worked with leaders across the league, including club owners, current and former MLS players and league officials, to bring this historic partnership to fruition.
The syndication team was led by lead arranger Citizens Trust Bank and co-lead arranger Carver Federal Savings Bank. Other syndicate members include Alamerica Bank (Birmingham, Ala.), Carver State Bank (Savannah, Ga.), Columbia Savings & Loans (Milwaukee), Mechanics & Farmers Bank (Durham, NC), and Unity National Bank (Houston). Comer Capital Group, LLC acted as financial and syndication advisor, and Dentons US LLP acted as advisor.
“This transformative partnership between MLS and black banks across the country is proof of what can happen when leaders bravely stand up and decide to be part of equitable change,” said the King Center CEO and board member of administration of the National Black Bank Foundation, Dr. Bernice A. King. . “I brought MLS and NBBF together because I saw an opportunity to create a partnership with the power to transform lives in Black communities and change hearts and minds across our country. a significant moment in the ongoing struggle for civil rights in the United States.
Quincy Amarikwa, Founder of Black Players for Change and 11-year MLS veteran, said: “By reaching agreements like the one we are celebrating here today, we are directly addressing and establishing a platform to overcome the under- assessment of black participation in the economic ecosystem. Creating opportunities like this shows that we are moving in the right direction. We welcome the opportunity to build on this positive momentum in partnership with MLS and others.”
In October 2020, MLS unveiled a series of initiatives aimed at combating racism, advocating for social justice and increasing black representation in sports. Using the league’s resources and platform to make tangible contributions to closing the racial wealth gap is an important part of MLS’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.