Schalke has struggled as a whole since the Bundesliga's restart, but U.S. men's national team midfielder Weston McKennie has provided a couple of bright spots.
McKennie scored on his second header in a matter of weeks, slicing Schalke's deficit vs. Eintracht Frankfurt in half on Wednesday. As he did against Fortuna Dusseldorf on May 27, McKennie got his head to the end of a free kick to get on the board. Whereas that one was of the diving variety, he had to rise high above his mark for his most recent one, which cut into a 2-0 deficit. Unfortunately for Schalke, the scoring ended there, with the 2-1 defeat extending the club's winless skid in the league to 14 games.
The goal was McKennie's third of the season, and he's been one of Schalke's only sources of scoring recently. He has three of the club's last five Bundesliga goals, also scoring vs. Hoffenheim in the last match prior to the league's pandemic-induced suspension.
McKennie has proven influential in more important matters, too. It was his "Justice for George" armband that kicked off a cascade of activism across Europe in response to the killing of George Floyd, who died last month in Minneapolis while in police custody after officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
McKennie and three other Bundesliga players–Marcus Thuram, Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi–were the focus of a ruling that allowed for clubs and leagues to use common sense and not follow the Laws of the Game to the letter as it relates to shows of political or personal slogans on the field or on equipment. Multiple tributes and shows of solidarity followed, from other clubs in Germany, to Marcelo kneeling after scoring for Real Madrid over the weekend, to Aston Villa and Sheffield United kneeling in unison in the first Premier League game back on Wednesday.