United States national team and former Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie is speaking out to condemn racial abuse targeted toward him and his teammates at last weekend’s CONCACAF Nations League final.
“I’ve been debating on whether I post anything about what’s been going on because I don’t want to take attention away from Sunday incredible moments that occurred on Sunday,” McKenzie wrote. “HOWEVER, the racial abuse and attacks on myself, my teammates, and our families just isn’t acceptable — not as athletes, not as HUMANS.”
McKenzie also shared proof of the abuse on his Instagram story, where fans can be heard yelling “fuck you monkey” while both teams were in a heated scuffle toward the end of the match. This was the same sequence that saw Mexican attacker Henry Martin hit by a flying cup.
“Supporters or non supporters, fans or not... it’s about having respect for your fellow brothers and sisters from various corners of the earth because our diversity is what makes us so powerful,” wrote McKenzie, a Philadelphia Union Academy and YSC Academy grad from Bear, Del.
Fans, teammates, and pundits alike have showed their support for McKenzie and fellow black players following his Twitter post. In addition, calls for Concacaf officials to investigate have increased.
Mark McKenzie shared on his IG stories a video of El Tri fans not only throwing bottles and beer cans at players as well as calling them homophobic slurs & yelling "fuck you monkey".— Tutul Rahman (@tutulismyname) June 8, 2021
This is in the US. This is a big fucking deal. @Concacaf @EmpowerField - do something about it.
“We as a people MUST do better and the organizations and corporations with the power to hand out repercussions NEED to step up and be held accountable as well,” McKenzie wrote.
“No more lip service — you’re either for positive change or part of the problem.”
McKenzie went the distance in the intense victory over El Tri, which was his second competitive match for the United States. McKenzie and the United States will take on Costa Rica on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2) in a friendly in Salt Lake City.