On Saturday, Jack Price debuted a new flare to his captain’s armband – one that connects him to the city and the social justice conversations that have been at the forefront throughout this year.
The armband is a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement and the mural that was painted on the streets of Denver. It was created by Adri Norris, who helped design the original mural in the city.
Norris currently works as a teaching artist who speaks to organizations and schools about art history and her work around women and activism. She was originally approached about the mural by Kim Desmond, Director at the Mayor’s Office of Social Equity and Innovation, and knew she had to get involved with the project.
While the mural quickly became a popular beacon in the city, Norris knew its lifespan was limited. That is part of what made collaborating with the Rapids so appealing.
“It was great to know that something that was initially made to be temporary could carry on in a way that was also meaningful,” Norris explained. “I know a lot of sports teams and individual athletes are also activists because they have skin in the game in a lot of ways.”
She also played soccer for 13 years, including on teams with her unit while in the Marines, so a love of the game helped, too.
“We wanted to continue supporting the Black Lives Matter movement long past the MLS is Back tournament in Orlando,” Senior Director of Community Relations Caitlin Kinser said. “When we were coming back into market, we were thinking how we could do that and tie it back to our local community. Then, seeing the mural in the city sparked this idea.”
Inspiring and supporting the movement through art is something Norris is extremely passionate about. Even though displaying her art in this way, through a captain’s armband during a sporting event, might be new, the impact is not.
“There’s such a long history of art being involved in activism and also being involved in propaganda,” Norris said. “It’s a way that you can connect to a person on a much more visceral level.
“Like the black fist that is iconic and always will be and has been copied and borrowed for many movements because it has a meaning, and that’s an artist’s creations, there’s no scientist that’s going to come up with that and get people motivated.”