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Marshawn Lynch is joining a hometown ownership group and partnering to help his community.
The Oakland Roots Sports Club of the USL Championship, the second division of U.S. men's soccer, announced NFL star Lynch joined its ownership group Friday. Oakland Roots and Lynch are also working together with local company Goalsetter to help students with financial literacy.
Lynch joins USL soccer club ownership
The club made the announcement with a fitting clip of Lynch going Beast Mode, earning a red card and throwing it out of the official's hands during a charity match in 2017.
— Oakland Roots (@oaklandrootssc) April 16, 2021
Lynch grew up in Oakland, attending nearby UC Berkley and spent two seasons with the Oakland Raiders in 2017-18. The Raiders have since left for Las Vegas.
“Growing up in The Town, we always could count on the pro teams in this area," Lynch said in the release, "but with most of those ones that I grew up with gone, I knew the minute I heard about the opportunity to join Oakland Roots, it wasn’t just something I wanted to do, it was something I had to do."
The Roots launched in 2019 to "to harness the magic of Oakland and the power of sports as a force for social good." The team said it is committed to advancing social justice and supporting athlete activists. This year it launched the Anti-Racist Project.
Oakland begins its season in May. Lynch spoke more in depth about his ownership stake with ESPN's "SportsNation" on Friday.
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) April 16, 2021
Lynch brings financial literacy to hometown
The Roots and Lynch are partnering with Oakland-born company Goalsetter, a financial literacy app for K-12 aged children that teaches financial literacy through game quizzes. It is intended to close the wealth gap by providing students with a financial education they can carry through life.
“Giving kids in my hometown a pro soccer club and players to look up to and a team that this community and city can get hella excited about was something I had to get down with,” Lynch said in the release. “And then, you layer in the commitment they are making to this city through all our grassroots efforts, the partnership with Goalsetter, just reassured and told me that the organization isn’t just talking about creating change, but really being about that action and making s*** happen.”
Lynch, currently still an NFL free agent, has urged players to be financially responsible and famously said in a postgame availability to "take care y'all chicken." The Super Bowl champion, entrepreneur and philanthropist is active in the community and in addressing social injustice through action.
He has bought real estate in Oakland to slow gentrification and keep housing affordable. Rather than see a beloved soul food restaurant close in the city, he purchased it. The list is exhaustive and includes helping individuals get and pay for cell phones as well as offering education assistance to minority students.
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