Newcastle defender and American international DeAndre Yedlin is debating whether he wants to continue playing for the U.S. men's national national team, saying he's grappling with the country's racism.
“It’s something I’ve thought a lot about during this quarantine,” Yedlin told Sky Sports. “My grandfather, my grandmother especially, I have a whole family of activists, they’ve always told me to stand up for what I believe in. There’s no amount of money that can make me shut up about something I think is wrong. It’s one of those waiting games to see if a change does happen. But if things go as they stand it’s hard for me as an African American male to represent a country that does things like this where all people aren’t equal.”
Yedlin has played in 62 games for the USMNT since 2014. He represented the United States at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Yedlin spoke out about racism in America earlier this month after his grandfather texted him that he's "glad" the 26-year-old does not live in the U.S. in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25.
The death has galvanized a global reckoning with systemic racism and abuse by law enforcement. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Officers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Yedlin, formerly of the Seattle Sounders, moved overseas to play for Tottenham in England in 2015. After spending a season on loan at Sunderland, he joined Newcastle in 2016.
Yedlin and Newcastle will host Sheffield United on Sunday. Both teams will feature "Black Lives Matter" on the back of their jerseys.