EPL

Newcastle United defender Yedlin reveals disheartening text from grandfather amid US riots

By Sports Desk June 02, 2020

Newcastle United defender DeAndre Yedlin has revealed he received a disheartening text message from his grandfather stating he would be worried for the full-back's life if he lived in the United States.

Protests and riots have erupted within cities across the country following the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck.

USA international Yedlin, who moved to England to join Spurs in 2015, says the systemic racism within his home country makes a mockery of the promise of "liberty and justice for all" - a phrase contained within the national Pledge of Allegiance.

Writing on Twitter, Yedlin said: "A couple days after George Floyd's death, 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. As days have passed, this text from my grandfather has not been able to leave my mind.

"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, 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.

"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."

Premier League stars including Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba have issued messages of support towards Black Lives Matter protestors in recent days, while clubs including Newcastle, Liverpool and Chelsea have taken a knee during training in a show of solidarity with the movement.

The FA has promised to adopt a "common-sense approach", as encouraged by FIFA, towards any players who make similar gestures during matches that might ordinarily breach the rules of the game.

FIFA's message to national associations came after the German Football Association (DFB) said it would investigate whether further action was required against players including Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi and Marcus Thuram for their actions last weekend.

Borussia Dortmund duo Sancho and Hakimi revealed t-shirts with the words 'Justice for George Floyd' during their 6-1 win over Paderborn, while Thuram took a knee after scoring for Borussia Monchengladbach against Union Berlin.

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