SoCal’s 11 pro sports team form The Alliance to aid Black, Latinx children

Newly formed collective of athletes taps Renata Simril, a woman of color, with the task of leading the effort

Southern California’s 11 professional sports teams have come together to help Black and Latinx children with The Alliance.

The five-year partnership will merge with two local initiatives, the Play Equity Fund and Accelerate Change Together. The goals of the project are to form collective accountability by monitoring high school graduation rates, college admission, and retention. 

Each team will also continue their individual philanthropic efforts. 

READ MORE: Black lives don’t matter when it comes to sports

The Alliance was first reported by LZ Granderson of the Los Angeles Times who wrote that the owners of these teams have put their differences aside to make a difference in their communities. 

Renata Simril, the President, and CEO of the LA84 Foundation has been tasked with leading the effort. “Forty-two percent of LAUSD students are obese or overweight and there are a lot of reasons why. Funding is one. Lack of volunteers and mentors. Safe passage to playgrounds. This is all a hindrance to academic success.”

5th Annual LA84 Foundation Summit
Steven Lopez, Barbara Nwaba, Ezra Frech, Renata Simril, Kayla Novak, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Lex Gillette at the 5th Annual LA84 Foundation Summit
(Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for LA84 Foundation)

Simril continued, “A lot of people are asking ‘what can I do to make a difference’ and I say join us. We have a plan for how to make real change and we can use all the resources we can get.”

Simril told Granderson that she hopes that The Alliance will be a blueprint for what can happen in other cities. 

READ MORE: Ivy League institutions cancel all fall sports amid pandemic

Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner, Peter Guber said the timing of The Alliance was assisted by not only the racial unrest taking place around the country but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “COVID makes people feel very vulnerable,” he said. “It opened the hearts of people and they could hear and see things in a new light.”

The 11 professional sports teams that form The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles include the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Chargers, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Football Club, LA Galaxy, LA Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Sparks.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!