Soccer

DeAndre Yedlin echoes grandpa's heartbreak over George Floyd's death

Soccer

DeAndre Yedlin is one of the United States Men's National Team's most recognizable faces, with more caps (62) to his name than all but three players (Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Brad Guzan).

The Newcastle United right back also is African American, and he revealed in a Twitter thread Tuesday that his 74-year-old grandfather texted him "a couple days" after George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis to say he was happy his grandson was in England, not the United States, during this time.

Yedlin understood why, tweeting that each "American needs to ask themselves if there is 'liberty and justice for all,' and if their answer is yes, then they are part of the problem."

Yedlin shared his thoughts hours after Newcastle's Twitter account posted a picture of the club's players kneeling in a circle before Tuesday's training session with the hashtag #UnitedAsOne. Liverpool and Chelsea also tweeted pictures of their players kneeling Monday and Tuesday, respectively, along with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.

Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died last Monday in Minneapolis police custody after a white officer -- who has since been fired, arrested and now faces charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter -- pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for over eight minutes. Floyd died two months after the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor -- a 26-year-old African American woman -- by police in Louisville and three months after the killing of Ahmaud Arbery -- a 25-year-old African American man -- by two white men, and nationwide protests of systemic racism and police brutality have sprung up over the last week.

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Some demonstrations have turned destructive, with violent police response alongside looting and rioting. Numerous cities and municipalities across the country have started to institute curfews.

The outrage isn't limited to the United States, with protests occurring in London, Berlin and Paris, among other cities around the world. In the Bundesliga, which is the only major European league that has resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, a handful of young stars honored Floyd and the ongoing protests last weekend.

Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie, a 22-year-old African American man, wore an armband bearing the message "Justice for George." Borussia Dortmund wunderkinds Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi -- 20 and 21, respectively -- both lifted their kits to reveal shirts saying "Justice for George Floyd" after scoring goals. Twenty-two-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thurman took a knee after scoring.

The laws of the game prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images," but the English Football Association said Tuesday players would be able to follow in McKennie, Sancho, Hakimi and Thurman's footsteps without fearing punishment. German soccer authorities have said they're investigating whether McKennie should face sanctions for wearing the armband.