(Reuters) - Newcastle United’s DeAndre Yedlin says his grandfather told him he was glad the American defender was not in the United States as he would otherwise worry for his life after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody in Minneapolis.
Video footage showed a white police officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd, 46, for nearly nine minutes before he died on May 25, triggering outrage and protests across the United States.
“A couple days after Floyd’s death, my grandfather texted me and told me he’s glad I am not living in the U.S. right now as he would fear for my life as a young black man,” Yedlin wrote on Twitter.
“I remember being in elementary school, and having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance which ends ‘...with liberty and justice for all’,” said Yedlin, who played for Major League Soccer side Seattle Sounders before moving to the Premier League.
“Every American needs to ask themselves, is there ‘liberty and justice for all’ and if their answer is yes, they are part of the problem.”
On Tuesday, Newcastle players posed taking a knee, akin to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who popularised the gesture as a way to protest racial issues, while Liverpool players had done the same on Monday.
“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,” Yedlin said.
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson