Newcastle, U.S. men's national team defender and Washington native DeAndre Yedlin revealed his grandfather is "glad" the 26-year-old does not live in the U.S. in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
Protests have been held across the U.S. for multiple days after Floyd, a Black man, died last Monday in Minneapolis police custody after an officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes, even as Floyd said he couldn't breathe.
Officer Derek Chauvin, who was fired from his job, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday. The three other officers present, also fired, have not been arrested.
Yedlin, who moved from Seattle to join Tottenham in England in 2015, said he's been thinking about a text message from his grandfather for days.
"My grandfather texted me and told me he's glad that I am not living in the U.S. right now because he would fear for my life as a young black man," Yedlin said in a series of tweets.
"He was born in 1946, lived through the civil rights movement, lived through some terribly racist times in U.S. 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...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."
On Tuesday, Newcastle tweeted a photo of players taking a knee in a gesture of support following Floyd's death.
Liverpool players extended the same gesture Monday at Anfield Stadium, and several teams are marking "Blackout Tuesday," a day for businesses to pause and reflect in the wake of Floyd's death.