“My Verse. Our Song. Nashville’s Soundtrack.”
Those three phrases adorn the front page of The Mixtape’s website. As Nashville SC’s first Black-led supporters group, The Mixtape has carved its own unique place in The Backline Supporters’ Collective.
Eric Capehart helped found The Mixtape in 2021 alongside Metro Council members Zulfat Suara and Brandon Taylor, as well as community leaders Eric Brown and Nadira Freeman. According to Capehart, they founded the group to give Black fans a unified voice in their support of The Beautiful Game.
“It was about having representation,” Capehart said. “I’m from Nashville and we have a team here, so it’s going to be important for us to show up and represent the team. It started just out of a desire to have some representation of Black culture at the table, to let people know that we like soccer too, and we want to be a part of the growth.”
Beyond representation, Capehart says The Mixtape aims to demonstrate that the Black community wants to get involved in soccer and support Nashville’s team.
“Many times, Black people especially feel like we’re not included in things,” Capehart said. “Sometimes, it’s because we don’t show up. That’s what this is about. We’re going to show up and bring that so we can create a pathway for others to come and join us, because we like soccer.”
The supporters group was officially unveiled in June 2021 at Nashville SC’s Juneteenth watch party in North Nashville. Capehart said it was meaningful to be able to celebrate the group’s founding on such an important holiday.
“It meant a lot, especially on that date,” he said. “It’s a freedom day. It’s important for us to recognize those kinds of dates and to have an event that can stay in our memory, I think that was perfect timing for us to have that launch.”
2022 is The Mixtape’s first full season as a supporters group. As Nashville SC moves into the largest soccer-specific stadium in the country on May 1, the group has some big plans to be seen and heard among the 30,000 fans at the stadium, and in the community.
“We’re focusing on bringing our culture to the tailgate,” Capehart said. “In the last meeting, we were talking about what we’re going to do at our tailgate. What’s going to be the thing that The Mixtape does at the tailgate? We’re trying to develop what that will be. It will definitely be around music and entertainment, trying to get everyone to come join us and join in with us and have a party.
“We’re also working on our community initiatives. We want to make a concerted effort to bring people into the soccer culture who may not be in it already. We want to do some community initiatives; we’re going to go out in the community and partner with some local soccer leagues and just educate people about the game. A lot of people don’t know about the game, and so we’re going to be that gateway into the soccer world.”
To learn more about The Mixtape, visit their website and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @Mixtape615.