The San Diego Loyal will make a statement in Saturday's return to action. It won't necessarily be with their play, or have an impact on the final score. But it will be clear the moment they take the field.
“We will not be silent about racial injustice and encourage our fans and community to join us in taking a stand," team manager Landon Donovan said.
His club will be wearing uniforms that include the words 'Black Lives Matter' across the nameplate on backs of players' jerseys. The alternate uniforms will debut on the road July 11 against Real Monarchs SLC, and stay in the team's rotation the next two seasons.
The uniforms also include the words 'Together San Diego' along the side of each jersey.
After the season, game worn jerseys will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the Association of African American Educators in San Diego.
"The Loyal in our name is symbolic of the diversity in our community, and now more than ever we stand by this," team President Warren Smith said. "It’s time to show our loyalty and stand together in the fight against racism and put an end to the violence fueled by hatred against our black community.”
Saturday marks the return of the team's first season in the USL. Donovan's club played just two matches before the coronavirus pandemic halted the league's 2020 campaign. The Loyal has 14 games on its remaining regular season schedule.