Antonio Rüdiger

Soccer players anti-racism
Photo by BERND THISSEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

McKennie joined by PL, USMNT, Bundesliga, NBA players in protest video

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Weston McKennie has released a startling and star-studded video of soccer players from around the world decrying police violence.

“To the cops out there that continue to abuse their power, the world is watching now,” McKennie says at the start of the video. “Enough is enough.”

The video of players repeating “Enough is enough” is interspersed with video of police officers in physical altercations with black men, and begins with McKennie.

A series of soccer players from Clint Dempsey and Christian Pulisic to Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies are joined by a pair of NBA players, two player agents (one a former USMNT player), and McKennie’s father John, a firefighter.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

There have been ongoing protests and horrible violence in the U.S. since the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes even after he stopped moving and pleaded for air in Minnesota.

Newcastle United’s American defender DeAndre Yedlin issued an emotional thread (below) as one of a great deal of players to express hopes for change and solidarity, while Schalke’s Weston McKennie explained his wearing a black armband reading “Justice For George” in the Bundesliga this weekend.

USWNT star Mallory Pugh is also in the video, along with Cristiano Felicio of the Chicago Bulls and Larry Nance Jr. from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

[ MORE: All 20 PL clubs make statements against racism ]

Weston McKennie – Schalke
Michael Bradley – Toronto FC
Tyler Adams – RB Leipzig, USMNT
Jozy Altidore – Toronto FC, USMNT
Christian Pulisic – Chelsea, USMNT
Clint Dempsey – ex-USMNT
Naldo – ex-Bremen, Wolfsburg, Schalke
DeAndre Yedlin – USMNT, Newcastle
Mallory Pugh – USWNT
Antonio Rudiger – Chelsea
Alphonso Davies – Bayern Munich, Canada
DaMarcus Beasley – retired USMNT
Omar Mascarell – Schalke
Salomon Kalou – Hertha Berlin
Cristiano Felicio – Chicago Bulls
Nick Mayhugh – USMNT Paralympian
Danny Williams – USMNT, Pafos
Jonathan Lewis – Colorado Rapids
Kellyn Acosta – Colorado Rapids
Chris Richards – Bayern Munich
Zack Steffen – USMNT, Fortuna Dusseldorf on loan from Man City
Jonjoe Kenny – Schalke, on loan from Everton
Giovanni Reyna – Borussia Dortmund
Josh Sargent – Werder Bremen
Reggie Cannon – FC Dallas
Nick Taitague – Schalke
Sean Johnson – NYCFC
Timothy Weah – PSG
Thilo Kehrer – PSG
Rabbi Matondo – Schalke
Cory Gibbs – ex-USMNT
Larry Nance Jr – NBA

Premier League social media wrap: Rashford honored, Mendy banters

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The Premier League world continues to move toward the return of soccer, while its social media eyes are trained in several directions.

In Monday’s edition of the PL social media wrap, we visit players from several clubs including both of Manchester’s top-flight sides in addition to a defender in the Northeast and a mournful note from Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

It’s Independence Day in Argentina, and several players were Tweeting love back home from their homes in the Premier League.

Norwich City’s Emiliano Buendia, Man City’s Nicolas Otamendi, and West Ham’s Pablo Zabaleta shared their love for home.

Newcastle’s Federico Fernandez celebrated with Napoli’s clever photo of a makeshift Argentine XI, as the Serie A club has had a lot of strong players from the South American nation.

Didn’t see himself lining up with Diego Maradona any time soon, we imagine.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news | Current table ]

Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy came out of his shell to share some thoughts on social distancing.

The outgoing French left back is no stranger to quips, and used his Twitter to post a reminder to stay vigilant in keeping distance from others.

Mendy posed with Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi, and Eric Garcia at City’s training ground Monday.

You may note that he also tagged Bernardo Silva. That’s banter, and see the second Tweet for detail.

On the other side of Manchester, forward Marcus Rashford shared an honor bestowed upon him for his vigilant work raising money this coronavirus pandemic.

Rashford has been working with a group called Fair Share UK to provide free meals for underprivileged people during the pandemic.

Last month, he doubled his personal donation and shared a story that he was once one of the children who’d need such contributions to get by.

Rashford was given a special recognition award by the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and said, “To be recognized by my city is a special feeling.”

Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger is mourning the loss of a friend, as former Roma academy player Joseph Bouasse died of a heart attack at the age of 21.

Rudiger was with Roma from 2015-17 apart from a loan to Stuttgart in Germany, and Bouasse was a center mid in their academy.

The Chelsea centerback shared a photo of Bouasse on Monday. It’s always so stunning when a someone so young, let alone an elite athlete, succumbs to heart problems. Our hearts are Bouasse and the Roma family tonight.

Premier League social media wrap: Returning players pumped, others wait

Premier League social media
@HecoDubravka
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We know it’s far from a universal vibe, but a large number of Premier League players were quite happy to be arriving to and playing on the training pitches of England on Tuesday.

The coronavirus pause is not over, but players are now allowed to train in small groups in the PL.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

It was good to see Dele Alli smiling and looking healthy after he was robbed and punched last week.

American fans might’ve been distracted by the sight of a smiling and reportedly healthy Christian Pulisic at Chelsea training, but look closer.

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s hair is unusually long, as is N’Golo Kante (because we’re not used to seeing him with much at all).

Toni Rudiger was also pumped to be back, and his post allowed us to catch influential but injury-hampered Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Let’s hope the midfielder is ready to return to the pitch and make his first appearance since tearing his Achilles tendon in a friendly against New England that cost him an Europa League Final appearance.

Spurs loanee Kyle Walker-Peters was back training with Southampton, though he had a sort of era-appropriate PPE covering his face (and a coach in the background going with the mask).

Not all of Newcastle United and Man City players aren’t back yet, and there’s some serious FOMO from a few of their players.

Up north, it’s goalkeeper Martin Dubravka getting fully kitted and fitted… at home.

And Man City minute-eater Fernandinho hasn’t yet returned, but he’s ready…

Antonio Rudiger: Racism won

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Antonio Rudiger has said that “racism won” after nobody was charged for allegedly racially abusing the Chelsea defender in their game at Tottenham in December.

Rudiger complained to the match officials during Chelsea’s win at Spurs in December that he had been racially abused as he was involved in an incident which saw Heung-Min Son get sent off.

After a lengthy investigation by both Tottenham and the Metropolitan police, nobody was charged.

Rudiger was roundly booed by Spurs fans in the away end at Stamford Bridge every time he touched the ball in Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Tottenham on Saturday and this is what he had to say about the treatment he received from the Tottenham supporters.

“It’s sad,” Rudiger said. “I don’t know why they would. Maybe it’s because I voiced about the racism. If you boo me because of that then you are poor people. I am sorry. This is a sign that we have a very big problem. At the end of the day I am alone in this case because I am the one who has to swallow this. With the win it makes me feel a bit like, yes OK, but it makes me feel like it will always be like this. For me, in this case, racism won.”

The German international defender was not interested in criticizing the investigation but asked for more help from supporters in identifying acts of racism inside stadiums.

In the same game Chelsea’s fans complained about an individual who racially abused Son and he has since been chargd.

“I’m very careful with this,” Rudiger said. “I’m not in the investigations. I’m not a police officer. I just hope always people do their job right. But nothing happened and, to be honest, it was not a surprise. They always get away with it. Not always, sometimes they get punished but mostly they get away with it. The support from my club was there. Also players and everything. For me this was not enough. These people need to be punished. They need educating. We all, even you, failed in this. If people are really honest we have so many people coming into the stadium and in that game when it happened against me, Chelsea fans got arrested. And why? Because Chelsea fans reported the fan who abused Son. On the other side, nothing happened. It’s the people who were around. That’s why I say if we don’t stand up racism won.”

Rudiger then also went on to explain how he will try his hardest to keep speaking out about injustices as the birth of his son Djamal last week means he will try and create a better world, one free of any form of discrimination.

“I will always stand up. It’s not only about myself. It can be homophobic or something like that. It’s about standing up for people. If it happens at football it is also happening outside and outside my son is going to be growing up. I will do my best to make sure my son is not stupid like other people. Sorry for this word. I don’t have any other words for this,” Rudiger added.

Lampard: Top four ‘underdogs’ Chelsea happy with point at Leicester

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Frank Lampard is happy to adopt the underdog role, as silly as it might sound given the club’s reputation and resources.

The Chelsea manager said he felt that way about the club’s Top Four chances before the season given the transfer ban. The club’s failure to get anyone over the line in January only adds to that.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

The Blues took a point off Leicester City in a 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium on Saturday morning and currently holds a 7-point lead on fifth place.

They sit eight points back of the Foxes, and it’s gonna be a brawl for fourth. From the BBC:

“We were underdogs at the start of the season. Not many people gave us the top four slot and I understand why, and it’s probably the same now. We’ve come to Leicester, who everyone’s raving about, quite rightly, and we’ve got a point. We move on.”

Chelsea had more of the ball and less of the shots on the day, leading 1-0 but needing to find an equalizer as Mason Mount assisted a pair of Antonio Rudiger goals.

The goals were Rudiger’s first two this season, and fifth and sixth of his Chelsea career. He missed a host of games early in the season and Lampard is pleased to have him back.

“We did miss him,” Lampard said via Football.London. “He brings an aggression and a presence. I think that is good. He is the more experienced of our center backs. I was delighted with his two goals.”

Chelsea now faces a murderous run of fixtures with Manchester United, Spurs, and Bayern Munich between Feb. 17-25.