DeAndre Yedlin is considering ending his playing career for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Yedlin, a USMNT veteran, admitted in an interview with Sky Sports that it would be hard to represent a country where “all people aren’t equal”. The 26-year-old is one of many current USMNT players showing support during the “Black Lives Matter” movement following the tragic death of George Floyd on June 5th.
“It’s something I’ve thought a lot about during this quarantine,” Yedlin said. “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 is currently preparing for the resumption of the EPL season for Newcastle United on Sunday against Sheffield United. Following a three-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Magpies will return to action albeit without fans in attendance.
The right back also hit out at United States President Donald Trump, who recently admitted he wouldn’t watch soccer matches should the American players take a knee during the National Anthem. U.S. Soccer recently repelled its policy preventing players from peacefully protesting prior to matches.
“I think the fact people still don’t realize why people are taking a knee and saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ people are being so close-minded to the fact that no one is disrespecting the flag, nobody is saying all lives don’t matter,” Yedlin said. “But there is a crisis right now where Black lives are not up to the standard that white lives are — and that’s for other minorities as well. They’re not up to the standard and as equal as white lives.”
Injuries have plagued Yedlin’s season on Tyneside this season, with the defender making only 12 league appearances to date and 15 total in all competitions. Newcastle United are 14th in the EPL table, eight points clear of the relegation zone.
A winner of 62 caps with the USMNT, Yedlin’s departure from international play could leave Gregg Berhalter without an experienced defender heading into World Cup Qualifying later this year.