Tormenta FC Co-Owner and President Darrin Van Tassell said the club's fundraiser for the Bulloch County chapter of the NAACP was not only driven by club leadership, but "was a statement from top to bottom." | Photo courtesy South Georgia Tormenta FC
STATESBORO, Ga. – As the national conversation regarding systemic racism in American society continued this week, South Georgia Tormenta FC decided in addition to supporting that dialogue it wanted to go a step further.
As a result, on Tuesday the club announced it was hosting a fundraiser for the Bulloch County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“Sometimes if you can’t take action that is seen, you can at least support things locally, and locally our NAACP chapter is filled with some really smart and bright folks,” said Tormenta FC Co-Owner and President Darin Van Tassell. “I think anytime we can make a statement and be about where we play and live and call home, it’s all the more important.
“Sometimes, our national organizations get the most attention, and that’s great, they need that attention, but what often happens perhaps is our local ones are forgotten about. We live here, so this is where we want to see if we can make an impact symbolically and with some real dollars. The fund is really starting to grow.”
The initiative came through conversations not just in the front office, but with those throughout the organization including the players in the League One club’s squad. The desire to make an impact from within the squad and front office is one that according to Van Tassell has been present previously at the club – and one he expects to continue – which has further established what the club overall represents in its local community.
“It wasn’t just people at the top thinking about what we should be saying, this was player-driven, it was front-office driven, it was a statement from top to bottom, and so often that’s what’s been going on,” said Van Tassell. “It’s not the first time that initiatives like this have come from inside the team, and what a gratifying place for that to occur for us.”