Weston McKennie and Kylian Mbappe have expressed their solidarity over protests raging across the United States after a black man was killed by a police officer in Minnesota.
On Monday night, George Floyd was killed after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes, sparking protests across the city that have continued throughout the week.
The officer has been charged with murder and manslaughter but, by Friday night, protests had spread to at least 30 cities across the country.
Many of the demonstrations have turned violent, with officers and protesters clashing, and property damage widespread.
During Saturday’s match against Werder Bremen, Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie showed his support for the movement by wearing a “Justice for George” armband during the game.
Protests in McKennie’s hometown of Dallas, Texas erupted on Friday night, with rioters smashing windows and looting some stores in scenes that were repeated in cities across the country.
It wasn’t just Americans who took notice of the protests, though, with Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe also making his voice heard by tweeting “#JusticeForGeorge”.
More demonstrations are expected nationwide on Saturday, with 2,500 members of the National Guard mobilized in Minnesota in an attempt to put down some of the more violent elements of the protests.
Following the match, McKennie took to Twitter to explain his actions, saying it felt good to use his platform to bring attention to the issues back home.
On the pitch, McKennie was unable to prevent his side from continuing their slump as Schalke fell 1-0 at home to Werder Bremen after a first-half goal from Leonardo Bittencourt.
Schalke have now lost six of seven matches and have gone 11 games without a win after falling to Bremen, who are in deep relegation trouble sitting in 17th in the Bundesliga.
After a strong start to the season, Schalke has slipped to 10th in the Bundesliga table.
McKennie could potentially be in his final season with Schalke, having expressed a desire to move to the Premier League earlier this month.
“For me, the next goal is England. It has always been my dream to play in the Premier League,” the 19-time capped U.S. international said.
“I want to join a club that fights for a place in Europe – the Champions League or the Europa League. For now, I’m happy at Schalke because I get to play.”