This is was a “family” affair…

There are a few things that stick out to me about the Gold Cup final this year. The first full capacity sporting even in the Raiders new stadium in Vegas, the sheer amount of Mexican fans and the noise they made, the last gasp goal to seal the win by Robertson, and light flex by Greg Berhalter rocking the limited (at the time unreleased) Undefeated Dunk Lows. But of all those things one thing stand out to me the most. The amount of black players that played for the USMNT in the this years gold cup and the families that came onto the pitch after the win to celebrate with the team. I am going to be honest, I had to do a little bit of a double take, in all my years of being a soccer fan in this country and in the last 6 or 7 years of covering the game from the sidelines as a photographer, this was scene that I had not seen before. Black moms, dads, sisters, brothers, uncles and cousins all swarming the pitch to congratulate their loved one on a well earned and hard fought championship. It was beautiful to be honest, and something that I am thankful that I stuck around for. You might think I am being over dramatic, but this was something that made me pause. This was evidence of progress, which there is still so much more to go, but there was no denying it on the day. It is a “family” affair, something that had previously been reserved for the celebrations after a NBA or NFL game. The USMNT won the Gold Cup that day and lifted the trophy, but it was the small win of black players (and their families) embracing the game and being embraced by it that stays with me. 




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