BLACK OUT STORIES| Earl Edwards Jr.
2020 meant a lot to me because the vast amount of adversity caused some pain, forced me to analyze and reflect, and ultimately helped me grow tremendously. I’ve always had a passion for black history, and studying the black experience in America. More often than not my experiences and research would leave me feeling angry, hurt, and even hopeless at times. While 2020 was heartbreaking in many ways, the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Arbery, and the shooting of Jacob Blake provided full transparency of the harsh reality for Black people in America. That transparency ignited a movement that spread throughout the world, and ultimately led to the organization of Black Players for Change. In our brief existence the work we have done has fulfilled me in ways that I never thought was possible. From our protest to start off the MLS is back tournament, our mini-pitch partnership with US Soccer foundation, and the initiatives that we are putting in place with MLS… I know we are making an impact, and this Blackout Collection with Participation Trophy Studio will add to our legacy. By establishing our organization, my frustration and hopelessness has transformed into effort, and energy to make our country a better place for our people. 2020 was a difficult year, but I’m thankful for the hardships because I firmly believe that it will lead to a brighter future.