Weston McKennie is not a fan of United States President Donald Trump and believes he isn’t the right person for office.
McKennie is one of many U.S. Men’s National Team players supporting the protests around the world against anti-racism and police brutality. The 21-year-old was seen wearing an armband with the words “Justice for George” on it during Schalke’s May 30th Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen.
Minneapolis resident George Floyd was tragically killed by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin after video footage showed Chauvin sitting with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Floyd was heard saying “I Can’t Breathe”, but eventually died and Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder.
Since Floyd’s death, protests have surfaced around the world against police brutality and anti-racism. McKennie has joined a growing number of critics who have been vocal about Trump’s handling of the current situation.
“I don’t think that Trump is the right one for the job as the president,” McKennie said in the interview with SportBild, published in German. “I stand by these words. I believe he doesn’t understand the responsibility he has for the entire country. I think he’s ignorant. I don’t support him a bit. I don’t think he’s a man to stand by his word. In my eyes, you can call him racist.”
“There might be a small minority which does not protest peacefully. But the majority does it,” McKennie said. “And if you then fire with tear gas and rubber bullets it rather looks that the government rather 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 in which you can see that peaceful demonstrators are attacked.”
McKennie isn’t the first high-profile USMNT player to criticize Trump. Michael Bradley also made comments critical of Trump’s presidency.
“There is zero leadership in our country right now,” Bradley said of Trump. “We have a president who is completely empty. There is no moral bone in his body.”
McKennie is one of several USMNT players to offer their public support for the current protests against racism and police brutality, a group that includes Zack Steffen, Tyler Adams, Christian Pulisic, and DeAndre Yedlin. McKennie was also one of several players in the Bundesliga who made public tributes to Floyd during matches, a group that included Marcus Thuram, Jadon Sancho, and Achraf Hakimi.
The USMNT midfielder returns to action this weekend for Schalke following a one-game suspension due to yellow card accumulation. Schalke hasn’t won in its last 12 league matches and face Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.