It's a special BIMBO birthday as we celebrate veteran defender Ray Gaddis.
Gaddis was drafted in the second round of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by the Boys in Blue and after nine years with the squad he owns the franchise record for most career matches (220) and minutes played (18,702).
Off the pitch, Gaddis has been very active in the community not only in Philadelphia and in his hometown of Indianapolis, but nationwide. He is a founding member and executive board member of MLS’ Black Players for Change (BPC), where he focuses on helping develop programming and initiatives, and is working specifically to form strategic partnerships to address racial inequalities, elevate Black voices, and stand with those fighting racism on the broader soccer scape. BPC was recently named the 2020 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year.
He helped bring a mini‐pitch to Newark, N.J. in conjunction with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Adidas and Musco Lighting. It is the first of 12 planned mini‐pitches to be built across the country as part of a longterm partnership aimed at breaking down systemic barriers that have kept children of color from playing soccer.
Over the last six years, he has partnered with Chipotle and Honeygrow to provide meals to the homeless in Philadelphia. He has also worked with the Salvation Army and Bethesda House to deliver meals to a safe space for those in need. He has a similar initiative in Indianapolis, where he delivers food, clothing, coats, and insulated blankets to one of the tent cities.
Recently, Gaddis has helped bridge the digital divide in the Indianapolis public school system by working with local officials and the NFL Players’ Coalition to provide internet and hotspots for 283 families who do not have internet access to help them be able to keep pace with their peers in school who do have internet access. He has been vocal about the importance of voting and the realities of voter suppression. He joined Philadelphia Mayor, Jim Kenney, in a virtual voting roundtable discussion and took the lead in the Union’s voting initiative that brought a pop‐up voter service center to Subaru Park.