September 28, 2018

Soccer Field Wars: Latino Neighbors Win a Fight to Play

By Miguel Valdez Soto

Omar Gonzalez and many of his neighbors love playing nightly pick-up soccer games on the fields at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Gonzalez never expected to get kicked off the field.

But that’s what happened one night when a local sports league, which had mostly white players in uniforms, showed a permit they had paid to use the fields. They asked the neighbors to stop their game and leave.

Gonzalez and his neighbors were confused. No one had ever used a permit to play there on weeknights.

So they started a battle to allow open and fair usage of the fields.

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