KENYA BROWN - Monday, June 1, 2020
U.S. soccer stars have joined the ranks of other athletes to add their voices to the worldwide reaction to the death of George Floyd that occurred on May 25.
Video of the 46-year-old African-American man, who was unarmed and handcuffed, as a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes has sparked outrage across the United States and the world. Many prominent athletes have come out to speak about the incident, including several soccer players.
Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband with the handwritten words "Justice for George Floyd" on his left arm during a Bundesliga game against Werder Bremen on Saturday.
The 21-year-old would go on to expand on his thoughts in a tweet after the game.
"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," he said.
McKennie was also joined by other current and former players to comment on Floyd's death.
"I don't want to repost the death video of another black man. It's outrageous that we live in a world where you can literally kill someone WHILE being filmed and only get fired!! The people in power are FAILING this country. As human beings, we ALL need to stand and fight for justice," said former U.S. men's national team left-back DaMarcus Beasley.
"To remain silent is to be complicit. We can not continue to tolerate the blatant racism and injustices that are occurring in our country. I stand & mourn with people of color whose communities have been affected," said Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya via Twitter.
Members of the World Cup-winning U.S. women's national team also weighed in with comments on social media.
Crystal Dunn posted on her Instagram account: "I am so proud to be BLACK! With a Capital B. My skin color has always been misconstrued by society as undesirable and undeserving of equal treatment. - I pray that those who come after us don't have to bear the weight of today's world."
Dunn's teammate, Alex Morgan, took to Twiter with comments on the incident.
"So sickened beyond words by the brutal police killing of George Floyd. When will all Americans be treated and respected equally regardless of race and gender?? We are yearning for true leadership and inclusivity from the top," she said.
Rose Lavelle added, "My white privilege has allowed me to use my platform in a light-hearted manner without confronting larger issues. I realize my silence has not contributed to addressing these issues and, therefore, I am part of the problem of racism and inequality. I know I will never experience the fear and pain of being a black person in America, but I've seen the injustice and reason for this fear and stand with the black community in this fight."
Floyd's death has also resonated with many European soccer stars.
Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, who scored a hat-trick in the team's win over Paderborn over the weekend, took off his jersey to reveal a handwritten message on his t-shirt saying, "Justice for George Floyd."
Meanwhile, Marcus Thuram, who plays for Borussia Monchengladbach, took a knee and paused for five seconds after scoring a goal.
French World Cup-winner Kylian Mbappe left a simple message, #JusticeForGeorge.