All 11 LA pro sports teams unite as 'The Alliance' to use sport for social justice

The 11 professional sports teams in the greater Los Angeles area are uniting to launch “The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles” in a commitment to social justice through sports.

They will work as one in a five-year commitment toward “meaningful programs” that will make a positive impact and change in communities of color. It is a result of the nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd and teams individually working toward social justice causes, including those at bubble season sites.

“The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles has been forged specifically to create positive change in underserved communities, with an emphasis on Black communities,” a spokesperson said in a statement on every team’s website. “All 11 teams are united in their dedication to this effort and recognize driving change is a long-term commitment. Through sports and social programming, we aim to work in communities to affect structural changes on levels that have a lasting impact.”

The 11 teams that are taking part are:

The 11 Los Angeles area professional sports teams are uniting to address social justice. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
The 11 Los Angeles area professional sports teams are uniting to address social justice. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The team’s departments and foundations will continue their charitable work in the region in addition to THE ALLIANCE. The Lakers hired their first director of racial equality and action in June to help the organization better understand racism and take action. The Sparks announced a “Change Has No Offseason” program earlier this month that will focus on social justice, specifically voting rights and immigration reform.

LeBron James and his business partner, Maverick Carter, formed More Than a Vote to educate people on voting rights and voting suppression. It includes stars from Los Angeles, such as Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker, and elsewhere.

The Alliance group will advocate for social justice, address disparities and take action to help end racial inequality, per the release. They will focus on developing education opportunities and support important issues facing communities of color, particularly Black communities.

The Alliance partners with existing programs

The group is partnering with the Play Equity Fund to better access and opportunity for youth in the city to join athletic programs no matter their family’s income or zip code.

“The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles is an unprecedented collaboration by sports organizations recognizing the impact they can have by working together, and they should be commended for seeking to make significant changes in communities of color,” said Renata Simril, President of the Play Equity Fund. “The Los Angeles region is one of the world’s most competitive markets, and sports is one of the world’s most competitive industries. But these organizations are putting their competitive instincts aside to work collaboratively for social justice.”

The two groups will hold a Sports for Social Justice Symposium webinar on July 22 during National Youth Sport Week (July 20-24).

It will also support Accelerate Change Together (ACT) Anaheim, a program launched in 2013 by Disneyland Resort, the Angels and the Ducks. It works to ensure youth from ages 13 to 21 are college- and career-ready and engaged in their community and families in positive ways.

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