In 1971, a historic moment in College sports occurred. The first-ever Historically Black University beat St. Louis University in the NCAA men’s soccer final. This game could not be boiled down to a simple contest on a soccer field. The ramifications were enormous. In the following season, the NCAA conducted an investigation into Howard University, taking their best players out of contention to play and, worse, stripping them of their national title.

Howard University became an incredible example of “Black Teamwork.” The author, Jermaine Scott, summarizes “Black Teamwork” as “an effort to play within and against the nation-state, a diasporic tactic that black athletes deploy to reimagine new socialities and solidarities that critique systems of racial power.” During a time when there was a significant shift to Americanized soccer and making it central to the suburban way of life, One extreme example of this was that the founders of AYSO (American Youth Soccer League) banned all team names that they considered “foreign sounding.”

The author discusses a shift towards desiring a “diasporic squad where national distinctions appeared fleeting.” Rather than all separating, Howard University became an example of thriving cultures, where all were accepted. One part of this story that stuck out was how widespread this was. From the band, school news reporters, head coach, players, and fans, everyone was fighting for these wins on the field. As such, the wins represented so much more. As Ian Bain (a Howard University player) said, his national victory was not simply a win and a trophy but “a victory for our people, Black people.”