MLS announces updated diversity employment policy, emphasizes hiring black candidates

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After almost 15 years, Major League Soccer will implement a new diversity employment policy that opens doors for individuals in historically marginalized groups within the league.

Prior to the announced changes, the clubs only needed to interview a varied candidate for a vacancy. The finalist pool must now include at least two or more non-white candidates, at least one of whom is black or African American.

“I feel like where politics is today, it forces people to really take a look and listen to the candidates coming in,” said Colorado Rapid head coach Robin Fraser.

“Nobody wants a dividend, nobody wants anything more than anyone else. We just want an opportunity is all it is. The change in this policy provides more serious opportunities for black candidates.”

The rules apply not only to senior MLS clubs, but also to the MLS NEXT Pro lower league and the MLS NEXT academies. Fines for teams that do not comply with the new policy include a $ 50,000 ticket for the first offense, up to $ 100,000 for second offenses and more than $ 100,000 for third and additional cases.

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December 7, 2021

“For us to get a little bit of that representation, to see ourselves in these positions of power, it does a lot for an athlete,” said New England Revolution’s goalkeeper and board member of the Black Players for Change (BPC) Earl Edwards Jr. . “And it encourages youth players to want to participate in the sport and maybe one day become a coach.”

Although the change in MLS diversity may not be immediate, the long-term effects may make it possible to open up opportunities for more diverse leadership across the league.

“You will see an immediate effect in the league, but I think the real effect will be in the coming years,” said Fraser. “All these opportunities are now being created for people, even at the academy level, assistant coaching level. Once they get those jobs, it only helps to prepare them for jobs as head coaches.

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