DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle’s USA defender, has shared his grandfather’s opinion that their country is not a safe place for a young black man.
As protests continue across the US in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis, the former Tottenham right-back displayed his own anger and despair on Twitter on Tuesday.
Hours after he and his Newcastle teammates took a knee during training in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Yedlin – who has African-American, Native American and Jewish-Latvian heritage – made his views plain.
“A couple of days after George Floyd’s death, my grandfather texted me and told me he’s glad I am not living in the US right now because he would fear for my life as a young black man,” he wrote. “As days have passed, this text from my grandfather has not been able to leave my mind.”
The 26-year-old – capped 62 times – indicated that the arrest of Derek Chauvin and the police officer’s subsequent charging with third-degree murder had done nothing to assuage his own views about the US’s racism problem and enduring inequalities.
“My grandfather was born in 1946, lived through the civil rights movement, lived through some terribly racist times in US history, and now 70 years later he still fears for the life of his black grandchild, in the country he and his grandchild were born in, in the country his grandchild represents when he plays for the United States, in the country his grandchild represents when he’s playing in England,” added Yedlin, who was raised in Seattle.
“I remember being in elementary school, and having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance which ends – with liberty and justice for all. Every American needs to ask themselves is there ‘liberty and justice for all’ and if their answer is yes, then they are part of the problem.
“In no way are we asking black lives to matter more than white lives all we’re asking is we are seen as equal as more than 3/5 of a man, as humans.
“My heart goes out in solidarity to George Floyd, his family, and all of the countless number of victims that have had their lives taken at the hands of meaningless police brutality.”