US men’s international Weston McKennie says ‘racist’ Donald Trump is not right leader for country

Midfielder sported an armband in tribute to George Floyd during a Bundesliga game against Werder Bremen last month

Alex Pattle
Thursday 11 June 2020 12:17 BST
Weston McKennie plays for Bundesliga side Schalke at club level
Weston McKennie plays for Bundesliga side Schalke at club level (Bernd Thissen/Pool via Getty Ima)

United States men’s international Weston McKennie has said Donald Trump “can be called racist”, which makes the US president unfit to lead his country.

Texan McKennie, who represents Bundesliga side Schalke at club level, sported an armband with the message “Justice for George” last month in a game against Werder Bremen – a tribute to George Floyd, a black American who died in May after a policeman knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes in Minnesota.

Floyd’s death has led to anti-racism marches around the world, as well as calls for a reform of the police system in the US.

“I don’t think that Trump is the right man for the job of president,” McKennie told German publication Sport Bild.

“I stand by these words. I don’t believe that he understands the responsibility he has for the entire country. I think he’s ignorant, I don’t support him one bit.

“I don’t think he’s a man to stand by his word. In my eyes, you can call him racist.”

McKennie also spoke out against US police forces’ handling of Black Lives Matter marches.

“There might be a small minority that does not protest peacefully, but the majority does,” he said. “If you then fire tear gas and rubber bullets, it kind of looks like the government wants to provoke something to create a false image.

“If [Trump] walks to the church and poses with the Bible, it’s just not the truth. It’s like in those videos where you can see peaceful demonstrators being attacked.”

McKennie received no punishment for wearing his armband against Werder Bremen, with the German FA saying it is against sanctions for on-field protests related to Floyd’s death.

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