Former Columbus Crew SC and current United States Men’s National Team goalkeeper Zack Steffen voiced an enlightening message on Twitter Tuesday afternoon in the midst of a country awry. The current Fortuna Düsseldorf shot-stopper mentioned in a lengthy post that if he plans to continue wearing the badge of the United States at an international level, Steffen wants to know that people are being listened to.
“I need to know that my country supports black lives,” Steffen wrote. “That our leaders see us. That they hear us. I am proud to defend my nation; all I ask is that my nation also defends me.”
“This week I reached my threshold. I’m committed to making a change, a change that should’ve happened years ago. I want to build something to create a safer world today and ensure a better future for the next generation and every generation to follow.”
The messages and voice of support on social media from all walks of life have become increasingly common in the past two days. Many have even taken to Instagram to share posts with pictures of black squares including the hashtag Blackout Tuesday to voice support of Black Lives Matter and those affected by police brutality.
While Steffen acknowledged that these posts are a good start, he wants to “implement this energy and unity within our own communities.”
Steffen joins many other players from not only the German Bundesliga but players from nearly every major soccer league in the world. Many have voiced their concerns over the recent death of George Floyd, who’s clear case of police brutality has sparked national outrage.
Schalke 04 and USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie wore a “Justice for George” armband during Saturday’s matchup against Werder Bremen. Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho removed his jersey after scoring a goal on Sunday, displaying an undershirt that wrote “Justice for George Floyd.”
Steffen was a mainstay during his three years with the Black & Gold, winning the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018 and helping the Crew reach the Eastern Conference Finals of that year’s MLS Cup playoffs.
After moving from Columbus to Manchester City for a league-record $7.6 million fee in 2019, Steffen has spent the season on loan to Dusseldorf where the team is currently looking to avoid relegation, sitting in 16th place out of 18 team. Steffen hasn’t played since the Bundesliga returned while recovering from a knee injury sustained in training back in April.