The United States soccer league has closed a major commercial transaction in a bid to “raise awareness of the importance of Black-owned banks”
MLS has announced a partnership with the National Black Bank Foundation (NBBF), in which the league will leverage a $25m loan with Black-owned banks.
The United States soccer league confirmed the five-year loan on Thursday in a first-of-its-kind transaction that has been closed to help try and fix the racial economic gap across the country.
The NBBF aims to fuel social mobility inthe U.S and it is hoped that the deal with MLS will help them increase their capacity to provide wealth-building services.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has said of the importance of their alliance with the NBBF: “Major League Soccer’s partnership with the National Black Bank Foundation is a tangible step in the efforts to close the racial economic gap in the United States, and it’s the right business decision for us.
“As a league, we continue to increase our initiatives in support of racial justice. In order to make a genuine impact, economic justice must be part of the equation. This transaction with a syndicate of community-focused Black banks is an important measure, and it is our hope thiswill raise awareness of the importance of Black-owned banks and their impact on the economy.”
This is a landmark moment – in sports history, in Civil Rights history, in American history.In collaboration with @BPCMLS, @BerniceKing, and @BlackBankFund, were proud to announce a historic $25M transaction with Black banks. #MLSxNBBF pic.twitter.com/bAbdxnWv6d
NBBF co-founder and general counsel Ashley Bell believes MLS have provided a blueprint for other sporting leagues to follow by participating in the historic commercial transaction.
“Major League Soccer has raised the bar for corporate America with this transformative partnership,” Bell said in a press release.
“If other leagues and major corporations follow the MLS model, lives of Black families all across this country will change for the better because their local Black bank will have the capital resources to approve historic numbers of home and small business loans.”
King Center CEO and NBBF board member, Dr. Bernice A. King, has added: “This transformative partnership between MLS and Black banks around thecountry is evidence of what can happen when leaders courageously stand upand decide to participate in equitable change.
“Ibrought MLS and NBBF together because I saw an opportunity to create apartnership with the power to transform lives in Black communities andchange hearts and minds throughout our nation. This deal undoubtedlymarks an important moment in the continuing struggle for civil rights in theUnited States.”