By Michael Lewis
Citing the shooting of Jacob Blake and the “continuous bloodshed of Black lives,” New Amsterdam FC announced Friday afternoon that it won’t play its first road game of the National Independent Soccer Association fall season at Chattanooga FC Saturday night.
“After consultation with our players, staff and supporters, the message is clear,” the team said on Twitter. “Now is the time to address social injustice, systemic racism and the right for every person in this country to walk freely, safely and equally. Not next week, not after the season, but now.”
In the tweet, the NISA expansion team said that it was in discussion with its community about further “calls to action” that it can take.
“Let’s ready, discuss and strive for change,” NAFC said on Twitter. “As the ‘Club of the People,’ it is time to protect all people.
It’s time for change. Now.
— New Amsterdam FC (@NAFCNY) August 28, 2020
New Amsterdam FC said the game will be rescheduled. The team made its NISA debut with a 3-1 home loss to the Cosmos last Friday.
“In response to NAFC, Chattanooga FC said that it “respects this decision made by New Amsterdam and their players.”
“Our club’s mission is to use soccer as a tool to build community, forging strong relationships across age, race, creed, and socio-economic status for the greater good of our city,” Chattanooga FC said on its website. “Consistent with that mission, our players planned to make a public statement on Saturday night to convey their thoughts and feelings on the recent tragic events in our country. While New Amsterdam’s approach differs from our approach, we fully respect it.
“Chattanooga FC looks forward to taking the field again soon in pursuit of our mission statement, allowing our players to play the game they love and providing them an opportunity to speak to our community about these events in an appropriate context and manner.”