MLS and the National Black Bank Foundation worked with leaders from across the league, including club owners, current and former MLS players and league officials to bring this historic partnership to life.
The syndication team was led by Lead Arranger Citizens Trust Bank and Co-Lead Arranger Carver Federal Savings Bank. Additional syndicate members include Alamerica Bank (Birmingham, Alabama), Carver State Bank (Savannah, Ga.), Columbia Savings & Loans (Milwaukee), Mechanics & Farmers Bank (Durham, NC), and Unity National Bank (Houston). Comer Capital Group, LLC served as syndication and financial advisor, and Dentons US LLP served 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 engage in equitable change,” said Dr. Bernice A. King, Director executive of the King Center and member of the board of directors of the National Black Bank Foundation. . “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 nation. Without a doubt, this agreement marks an important moment in the continuing fight for civil rights in the United States.”
Change founder and 11-year MLS veteran Quincy Amarikwa. “By securing agreements like the one we are making here today, we directly address and establish a platform to overcome the undervaluing 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 continue 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 component of MLS’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.