On American Independence and Soccer: An Open Letter

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Two hundred and thirty seven years ago, the Second Continental Congress decided to declare independence from Great Britain.

"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival," Adams wrote to Abigail Smith Adams in July 1776. "It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by Solemn Acts of Devotion to God almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with [shows], games, sports, guns, bells, bonfire, and illuminations from one end of the continent to the other from this time forward forever more." -John Adams speaking on July 2nd.

On July 2nd, 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved the resolution of independence. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia first proposed it on June 7th, 1776. Voting was tabled as support for independence was drummed up. Congress decided to draft a Declaration announcing their entry into the international system, a Model Treaty to guide future foreign relations, and the Articles of Confederation under which the independent states were unified.

The United States approved this resolution on July 2nd, a date John Adams expected to be celebrated every year with shows and sports as the birthday of our country. Two days later congress approved the formal explanation of this decision, the Declaration of Independence.

Right away, Adams was proven wrong and July 4th has been celebrated as the day the United States came into being. However it was today, July 2nd, that congress decided it was going to declare its independence from Great Britain. That it was going to announce to the world that the US was open for business.

So when we gather in two days, and there are illuminations in the sky, and sport, and music, and all sorts of celebrations - pause for a moment. For all the talk about what the founding fathers would have wanted, we can at least agree that they'd want us to pause for a moment and acknowledge what they did over two hundred years ago.

MLS wants to be associated with July 4th. The LA Galaxy have played at home on the fourth for 18 consecutive seasons. The US national team plays on Friday, the US youth team is returning from Turkey. We in the soccer community celebrate this country all the time, despite the constant reminder from some that our sport isn't American.

Don't you think that's kind of cool?

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