Moments after helping lead the Philadelphia Union to a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls, defender Mark McKenzie used his post-game interview on the PHL17 broadcast to talk about Jacob Blake.
“We demand justice for what’s been done,” McKenzie said. “Being shot seven times in the back, it’s not called for. Prayers out to him and his family.”
Blake is the 29-year-old black man who was shot from behind seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 23.
McKenzie, 21, has been one of several players on the Union who have used their platform to speak out about police brutality since the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May.
Defender Ray Gaddis is a board member on the Black Players Coalition of MLS and Warren Creavalle designed the Black Lives Matter shirts that players and coaches have been wearing since MLS is Back Tournament kicked off.
The team also wore the last names of black victims of police brutality in place of their own in their first game in Florida against NYCFC. McKenzie wore the name of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014.
UPDATE: McKenzie spoke more on the topic in his post-game availability with media.
“He’s shot seven times in the back in front of his children, his three sons in the back seat. What does that do for them now the traumatic experience at such a young age, to see that happen to a father? This is a reality of being black in America and even with all the quote unquote progress we tried to make you take another 10 steps back and so again we are still waiting on justice for Breonna Taylor’s killers. Now we’re demanding justice for Jacob Blake.”