Oakland, Calif. – Oakland Roots Sports Club has joined the Common Goal movement. Led by some of the world’s top players and coaches, Common Goal participants contribute a minimum of 1% of their salaries to fight social inequality. Oakland Roots was founded with the purpose of using soccer to create positive social change, making this a natural step in the club’s journey.
“Sports teams should show what they stand for through action,” said Roots Chair Steven Aldrich. “Oakland Roots was founded to be a force for good that expressed itself through soccer. Joining Common Goal is a natural step for us and we’re grateful for the leadership of people like Juan Mata and Megan Rapinoe as well as FC Nordsjaelland, the first club globally to join the movement, who are championing this cause. We’re working with our players and community to determine the best way for us to use our 1% in service of the Club’s purpose.”
Common Goal was co-founded by World Cup-winner Juan Mata with the goal of uniting the global soccer community to tackle the greatest social challenges of our time. Since then over 150 players and coaches have joined the movement, including Rapinoe, the 2019 World Player of the Year, fellow USWNT World Cup and Olympic winner Alex Morgan, Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp, Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry, Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels and Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini, as well as European clubs FC Nordsjælland of Denmark and Unionistas de Salamanca of Spain.
“It’s really exciting to have Oakland Roots as the first club in the USA to join Common Goal,” said Juan Mata. “The Roots represent a new type of club, one that is driven towards positive social change. At Common Goal, we share the same values and are therefore very happy to have them become part of the movement. It takes a team! Welcome!”
The collected funds are used to support the work of non-profit organizations around the world that use soccer to tackle social issues like health, gender equality, unemployment, and the COVID-19 crisis. Oakland Roots will join in donating 1% of all player and staff salaries and 1% of all ticket revenue to Common Goal.
“It’s great to see Oakland Roots taking the lead as the first US professional football club to join Common Goal,” said World Cup winner Heather O’Reilly. “Hopefully this motivates other clubs to also put social purpose first and join the movement with their 1%. Now is the time to come together in tackling the world’s greatest social challenges.”
FC Nordsjælland of Denmark was the first club globally to join the movement. “You don’t have to visit California to see that Oakland Roots is a special kind of football club,” said FC Nordsjælland CEO Tom Vernon. “Luckily I did and got to see how like FCN we’re both placing a social purpose at the heart of everything we do. We welcome all players and staff to the Common Goal family!”
“Don’t expect to achieve your dream if you’re not willing to help others achieve theirs.”
This quote from Denmark’s FC Nordsjaelland embodies the spirit of Oakland – one big community where everyone seems to know each other and looks out for everyone else. This is why this city of over 400,000 people is referred to as ‘The Town’.
Some of the biggest cultural and political movements sprouted from Oakland. The founding of the Black Panther Party by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale is an essential foundation on which Oakland’s culture of community-driven activism was established. Athletes from Oakland are some of the most groundbreaking in sports history. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson became the first Black manager in MLB, and fellow Hall of Famer Bill Russell became the first Black Head Coach in the NBA. The list of accolades stemming from Oakland Athletes is endless.
Oakland’s unique position at the intersection of activism, sports, and arts can be attributed to the city’s diversity, the spirit of inclusivity, and commitment to equality that resonates through all aspects of life and through all the people. The Oakland Roots brand and identity would not exist without the deep history of social consciousness and pioneers of the fight for equality that have gone before us.