Lakers, Dodgers and Rams among 11 LA sports teams to form 'The Alliance'

Executives for the 11 teams gathered via Zoom to make the announcement on Tuesday.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The 11 professional sports organizations in the Los Angeles area are putting any and all rivalries aside to form an unprecedented partnership called "The ALLIANCE."

From the Lakers to the Dodgers, the iconic organizations are teaming up to influence positive change in communities of color and promote social justice.

Executives for the 11 teams gathered via Zoom to make the announcement on Tuesday.

They've made a five-year commitment to increase sports and structured play programs for young people in communities of color. The organizations also aim to address racial injustice while developing educational programs.

"Our goal is pretty simple. It's to unite as allies," Los Angeles Football Club co-owner Tom Penn said. "In many cases, we're rivals. But in this case, we're allies."

After the recent nationwide protests against racial inequality, they wanted to do something.

Penn said the first meeting was held May 31, less than a week after George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis.

"Everyone co-signed that we would try to bring some good out of the situation. If not sports, then who?" Penn said. "We expect this program to be a beacon and magnet for others."

The teams have committed to advocate for social justice, address disparities and take actions to help end racial inequality by partnering with Play Equity Fund, a non-profit dedicated to creating social change through sports. The teams will also work closely with Accelerate Change Together (ACT) Anaheim.

"It took people when I was younger to invest in me, and so for us to commit to these communities of color, particularly black communities, and have that five year commitment, I'm hopeful that this spurs a movement," said Dave Roberts, the Dodgers first African American manager.

Renata Simril, the president of the Play Equity Fund, said the program's progress will be measured by tracking high school graduation rates, college admission and retention.

Simril said the five-year commitment from teams was important because changes will not happen overnight.

"The next step is to engage community organizations and a cohort of young leaders," she said. "We are really trying to change systems and engage over the long term. The teams are committed to staying with it."

Many teams said the ALLIANCE allows them to supplement what they're already doing in their communities - creating new opportunities for the next five years and beyond.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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