One Player, One Team, One Club, One Love - Soccer Parenting
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Charlotte Independence SC

One Player, One Team, One Club, One Love

The killing of George Floyd was a tipping point for me.  No longer could I choose to ignore the injustices being perpetrated against Black people by classifying these events as individual incidents. As I watched the video of the police officer kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck – my mouth was gaping and my heart was frantically beating as I witnessed his heart stop. Gone was my ability to comfort myself with the idea that race is a “tricky topic” that is too often misunderstood when discussed and is better left unspoken about.

I committed to finding my voice. I tweeted. I called and sent messages to many of my Black friends and colleagues. I visited the perverse Civil War monuments here in Richmond, VA that are now a source of constant protest (and are largely being removed). I watched documentaries such as 13th and When They See Us. I bought and read books such as White Fragility and How to Be an Antiracist.  I journaled and I spoke to my children about racism.

I also revisited moments in my life where I didn’t pay enough attention: my Ghanaian friend Mohammed “Mimo” Gargo  - so upset after playing a match for Serie A Udinese because he experienced horrific racism from the Italian fans; my experience being pulled over while in the middle of the backseat in a car full of Black men, my teammates on a summer league team, and the indignation I subsequently received from the police officers when I told them I was not being held against my will and that these dreadlocked men were my friends; the subtle glances from people as I walked hand in hand with my Black soccer-playing boyfriend in college; and my Black high school teammate’s anger at me because I ignorantly referenced her acceptance to UVA as the result of affirmative action instead of her hard work and intelligence.

When I reflected on these experiences I realized each of them were afforded to me because of soccer. The observation that sport is so uniquely able to provide racial awareness, racial understanding and racial experiences has driven me to do more on the Soccer Parenting platform to speak about racism in youth sport, to be a bridge for uncomfortable but necessary conversations, and to help frame the dialogue around the hopeful potential of youth sport to bring communities together.

First, last month I hosted a live webinar with my new friend Mutanda Kwesele, coach at the MLS Columbus Crew Academy. We spoke about Sport for Social Justice. Mutanda and I discussed anti-racism, social justice, compassion, solidarity, and bias as we examined our childrens', players', and our personal experiences with the game as parents and coaches. Our focus was on how we can make the world a more loving community through our sporting experiences. You can watch the entire webinar HERE

Second, when Thomas Finlay, the CEO of a Soccer Parenting Club Member, the Charlotte Independence Soccer Club (North Carolina) asked me to be on an Anti-Racism task force he was forming to develop an actionable program the club could implement, I jumped at the opportunity with an immediate “yes”. 

This taskforce, it’s turned out, has provided me with a weekly opportunity to reflect and find important connection with an exceptional group of new friends as we attempted to create a program Charlotte Independence SC could implement to stand up firmly against racism. It was of greatest importance to me that the program be one other clubs across the country I work with at Soccer Parenting could model. We two-foot tackled the racism epidemic in the middle of the COVID pandemic via weekly zoom calls, subcommittee conversations, and some awkward moments as we stuck with conversations, spoke honestly, listened and worked through our feelings.

The result: One Club, One Love.

I interviewed Thomas Finlay about One Club, One Love and how it will be implemented at Charlotte Independence SC and you can follow this link to their website to learn more as well: Charlotte Independence SC - One Club, One Love

One Club, One Love is not just a statement or press release – it is a program that will be implemented across club leadership, coaches, players, and parents. The One Club, One Love patch will be added to club uniforms. There will be educational opportunities for players around solidarity, compassion, teamwork and empowerment. Coaches will be trained on anti-racism, microaggressions, unconscious bias, and de-escalation. Parents will be offered opportunities to learn more about One Club, One Love and will be held to high standards on the sidelines and provided clear guidelines regarding reporting racist behaviors they witness during matches. The club will consistently review human resources practices and policies, and will simply not tolerate racist actions.

Find the graphic that is below HERE on the Charlotte Independence SC Website

If you would like to learn more about One Club, One Love and implement it at your club – please contact me at

I remain hopeful and grateful. 

I am hopeful. I know that sport will continue to be a powerful catalyst for connection between our children growing up in the game resulting in stronger communities and understanding. 

I am grateful. Simply put, if it were not for soccer, my friend group and life experiences would be incredibly less diverse. If we choose to be more aware and open our minds and hearts to one another, soccer will give us interactions that can – and will - change the world. 

The call to action for parents is simple: Expect your child to be One Player - an exceptional teammate who demonstrates solidarity, compassion, empathy and love.

One Player, One Team, One Club, One Community, One Nation, One Love.

Post Script: I also know there is much work to be done from an accessibility standpoint.  A more diverse youth soccer will be a more powerful catalyst for stronger community and richer experiences. I will be tackling this subject in a soon to be announced free, live webinar with Mutanda Kwesele and other experts in this accessibility space.

About the Author Skye Eddy

Founder, Skye is a former All-American goalkeeper, professional player and collegiate coach. She holds her USSF “B” License and USSF National Goalkeeper License and is an active youth coach, soccer parent and coach educator.

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