United States men’s national team midfielder Weston McKennie might have been the first professional athlete to take his protest of George Floyd’s death to the playing field.
Now, he’s speaking out against President Donald Trump. In an interview with German outlet Sport Bild, McKennie — who plays for Bundesliga club Schalke 04 — questioned Trump’s ability and commitment to leading the country, and said he believes Trump can be called a racist.
Schalke's Weston McKennie in Sportbild: "I don't think that Trump is right for the job of President. I don't think he understands the responsibility he has for the entire country. I think he's an ignorant. I don't support him one bit. In my eyes, you can call him a racist." #s04
— Stefan Buczko (@StefanBuczko) June 10, 2020
The 21-year-old McKennie received his first USMNT cap in 2017, and is one of several American players to make their name in Germany. A native of Texas, McKennie is part of the younger USMNT generation that could define the future of American soccer.
McKennie isn’t the first member of the USMNT to criticize Trump, as captain Michael Bradley defender said “there isn’t a moral bone in his body” and DeAndre Yedlin called him “the worst possible person” to handle a situation like Floyd’s death.
McKennie made headlines last week when he took the field with an armband reading “Justice for George Floyd.” He was one of a number of Bundesliga players to make a show of protest. He was also among the players to record a video saying “Enough is enough”on police brutality.
To be able to use my platform to bring attention to a problem that has been going on to long feels good!!! We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard! #justiceforgeorgefloyd #saynotoracism pic.twitter.com/TRB1AGm0Qx
— Weston McKennie (@WMckennie) May 30, 2020
All four officers involved in Floyd’s death have since been fired by the Minneapolis Police Department and hit with criminal charges, with officer Derek Chauvin — the man who knelt on Floyd’s neck — facing a second-degree murder charge.
Meanwhile protests have erupted across the country as activists seek police reform and even more drastic measures, with many athletes openly taking part.
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