Can Major League Soccer and FC Dallas find a way to make a difference in the racial strife going on in the United States and the world? Can anyone really make a difference? 
The answers are yes and yes. 

But can’t they really only make a small dent if any change at all? Sure. But a small part is really all any individual or organization can do. We are all just a small cog in a large machine. But a small thing can make an impact. Ask anyone ever bitten by a mosquito.

What will the MLS and specifically FC Dallas do as their small part? That remains to be seen.

But if the organizations’ social media channels are a clue, both of them are committed to a change, not just in soccer but society as a whole. FC Dallas’ Reggie Cannon and Fafa Picault both spoke about challenges they face at a recent discussion with FC Dallas staff and community leaders. The entire talk is available on the club’s Facebook page here

Can FC Dallas and the MLS sustain the commitment through this season and beyond? And will it make a difference?

How do we know? 

Here are some examples of small things that made a big impact.

1) Collin Kaepernick

Even people who have never heard of Collin Kaepernick before the 2016 season, they know him now. Gen Pop may not know how many touchdowns he’s thrown (72 over five full seasons) or how many playoff games he’s won (4) but they know where he stands — or kneels in this case — on police brutality and other forms of racism in this county.

Did his “little protest” work? It’s been almost five years and we’re still talking about it from Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue. What do you think?

2) Don’t Mess With Texas

A lot of people even outside the great state of Texas are familiar with the saying, but they may not realize how it got its start. Don’t Mess With Texas was part of a campaign to cut down on littering across the state. Many folks under 40 probably don’t realize that litter and trash along streets and highways were becoming a real problem in the 1970s. Families used to travel along those roads eating lunch from a fast-food bag, wipe their mouths clean, then tossed the wrappers along the road. Good Ol Boys in trucks would throw empty Pearl beer cans out of their pickup windows. It was a real issue. Then in the 1980s, the state of Texas hired an advertising firm to put together a campaign to literally clean up the streets. 

“Don’t Mess With Texas” was born. Now, it’s a folksy saying on t-shirts and bumper stickers, but then the slogan was a big deal meant to curb littering. And the very fact that most people don’t even realize that littering was a problem is proof that the campaign worked. Four little words plastered on highway trash barrels, highway signs, and uttered from powerful voices like Stevie Ray Vaughn, George Strait, Matthew McConaughey, Willie Nelson and a host of other famous Texans made people realize that trashing the Texas highways wasn’t helping anyone. At first, people bristled at the idea that somehow their “God-given right” of throwing out the trash was being taken away. Now, most people wouldn’t think of tossing their Chick-fil-A trash along the Tollway. 

Messages work. 

3) The Video of the Two Toddlers Running to Hug Each Other

While this viral video maybe hasn’t changed anything, it does highlight the fact that we aren’t born hating some non-existent “them.” We are born loving, wanting to run, and have fun with our friends. It teaches us that to love and appreciate diversity is not about brainwashing or “pushing an agenda”, it’s our natural state of being. Love for fellow man and knowing that all men are created equal, is born into us. Fearing some mythical “other” is taught by our parents, loved ones, and society as a whole. But we as a society can re-educate. We can teach our young people — and some old heads — that we need to return to a more natural state of us and us, not them

The world soccer community can have a big say in eradicating social issues like racism, gender equality, and others. Clubs like FC Dallas, organizations, and individuals can go a long way in the re-education process. Around the world, 3.5 billion people watch and love soccer, about 50 percent of the world’s population. The soccer community can step up and be a voice of change. 

The World Soccer Community, the MLS, and FC Dallas can take a huge opportunity in helping to raise that voice.
Let’s hope they take it.

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