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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Wednesday, October 14

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Weston McKennie uses his platform to speak about racism

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Hi, all!

I don’t share enough bangers, and I should fix that. Here’s André Carrillo’s goal against Brazil from yesterday.

Ramble of the Day

This week,Adidas shared a video of Juventus and U.S. midfielder Weston McKennie talking about the racism he’s experienced. It’s only a minute and a half, but McKennie touches on a lot of topics, and he is absolutely worth listening to.

I’d like to spotlight a couple of things, the first he’s feelings on racism as an American:

I went back home to Dallas and I’m afraid to drive at night because I don’t know what’s going to happen if I get pulled over. I’m representing a country that possibly doesn’t even accept me, just for the color of my skin. It’s a bit heartbreaking.

McKennie makes his point, and isn’t the only U.S. international to speak about the difficulty of representing the country while its systems continue to oppress them — DeAndre Yedlin spoke about it with Sky Sports back in June. There’s very little I can add, but I think it is worth thinking about, if you haven’t already, the reality McKennie and Yedlin face — to feel unwelcome in your own country when you are regularly asked to represent it is just one of the unfair aspects of the racism they experience.

McKennie also spoke about wearing an armband with the words “Justice for George” soon after the killing of George Floyd, which he did while he was still a Schalke player last season.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-SCHALKE-BREMEN Photo by BERND THISSEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

When I wore the armband [with the words “Justice for George”], I felt it was a duty and a responsibility one, being an American and two, being a Black American. I just felt the need to bring awareness overseas. I got a lot of support from it. I also got hate from it. “You’re a soccer player, you shouldn’t be making political statements,” and I was just thinking in my head, I don’t see how this is a political statement at all. A person lost their life. I’m not going to shut up and dribble.

The first reason I wanted to share this is because I appreciate McKennie’s desire to bring more attention to systemic racism, which is not a uniquely American issue. He also makes a point I find very important — that being anti-racist should not be inherently political. It isn’t that the issue doesn’t exist in politics, but equal opportunity for all shouldn’t be conflated for being solely political. I always maintain that being against racism should be the neutral and uncontroversial stance, even if people are slow to pick up on that.

Links of the Day

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo tested positive for COVID-19.

Canada’s women’s team canceled its camp in England this month over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Local businessman Robert Smethurst took over Macclesfield Town, renaming the club Macclesfield FC.

David Squires offers his take on Project Big Picture in his latest cartoon.

A longer read: Paul MacInnes answers some questions on Project Big Picture for The Guardian