Michael Bradley: 'I just hope that people are able to go to the polls in November'

Michael Bradley has lived in Toronto since 2014 after spending eight seasons in Europe, but the Toronto FC captain follows the developments in the United States closely and is horrified by what he sees.

"We have a president who is completely empty," he said of President Donald Trump on a media call on Thursday. "There isn't a moral bone in his body. There's no leadership. There's no leadership from the president, there's no leadership from the Republican senators who have sat back and been totally complicit in everything he's done for the last three and a half years."

Bradley, who was born in Princeton, New Jersey, where his father Bob was a college coach, and lived in Illinois before turning pro at the age of 16, said Americans need to vote on Nov. 3.

"I just hope that people are able to go to the polls in November and think about more than just what is good for them, more than what is good for their own status, their own business, their own tax return," he said. "I hope that people can go to the polls and understand that in so many ways, the future of our country and the future of our democracy is at stake. We need as many people as possible to understand that at a real level, to think about what four more years with Trump as president, what that would mean, how terrible that would be for so many people."

He said any chance to begin eliminating racial inequality and social injustice defends on the election.

"If we want any chance to start to fix those things," he said, "then Trump can't be president. It's as simple as that."

Bradley ticked off a range of emotions he's felt watching the killing of George Floyd and the protests that followed.

“I have spent the last 10 days watching, listening to it all and I don’t even know where to start," he said. "There is so much that needs to be said. I’m horrified, angry, disgusted and embarrassed we live in a world where black men, women, children fear for their lives daily. We have to find real ways to front this head on. What we have been doing, the way we have been living is not good enough."

He added that everyone needs to do more to educate themselves and have difficult conversations.

“White men, women, children need to listen,” Bradley said. “We need to understand there is a perspective in a world totally different to one they are used to. We have failed the black community, other communities of color we have failed. I need to educate myself more.”

51 comments about "Michael Bradley: 'I just hope that people are able to go to the polls in November'".
  1. Tom Mara, June 5, 2020 at 6:21 a.m.

    I agree you need more education. 

  2. Sean Mara replied, June 5, 2020 at 3:24 p.m.

    I agree with everything Michael Bradley said.

  3. P Van replied, June 6, 2020 at 3:06 a.m.

    I agree with everything Michael Bradley said too.

  4. Mark Zylker, June 5, 2020 at 7:10 a.m.

    Once again Soccer America you FAILED!!!!   Keep politics out of your magazine.  We want to go there and escape.  Why is it ALWAYS permitted to be printed when it is negative conservative or anti republican but not when it is negative liberal or democratic? 

    Disgusting and dispicable that you should print these sort of opinions.  Can you find in your archives one Anti-Obama opinion or article?  This kind of material is not for a soccer magazine.

    Mark Zylker

  5. Luis Sagastume replied, June 5, 2020 at 11:59 a.m.

    I totally agree with Mark Zylker! Leave politics out of our beautiful game!!!!

  6. Kam Siu replied, June 5, 2020 at 2:26 p.m.

    FFS!  There's nothing political about social justice and ending police brutality!  It's not disgusting nor dispicable (sic) about an athlete using his platform to speak for those that can't be heard.  What is disgusting and dispicable (sic) is a sitting president using violence in order to get a photo op and trying to use the military against its own people.  

  7. Wooden Ships replied, June 5, 2020 at 3:36 p.m.

    Kam, I'm sorry you feel that way. You are not alone obviously. What would meet your standards to have the POTUS do? How much destruction are you prepared to accept? There were numerous complaints on this officer yet he remained in his position and committed this murder. I'm sure you, SA, MB, BB, Lebron, Poppavich, et al, have some concrete answers that don't include hysterics. Respectfully. 

  8. P Van replied, June 6, 2020 at 3:09 a.m.

    Wooden ships sinking.

  9. John Kukitz replied, June 6, 2020 at 10:26 a.m.

    Spot on Mark Zylker.  Bradley should keep his mouth shut and SA should keep their liberal bias to themselves.  I subscribe to read about our game, not to hear the opinion of a half assed daddy's boy.

  10. E Velazquez replied, June 8, 2020 at 6:02 a.m.

    excellent assessment

  11. Sean Guillory, June 5, 2020 at 7:26 a.m.

    I'm black and I'm not sure what this guy is saying about educating himself.  How is he going to do that?  What does that even mean?  I like how he places all the blame on one man as if voting out Trump will "Fix" the ills of this world.  So naive...kind of how he plays soccer.

  12. Wooden Ships replied, June 5, 2020 at 3:38 p.m.

    Well said Sean.

  13. P Van replied, June 6, 2020 at 3:10 a.m.

    Wooden ships sunk.

  14. E Velazquez replied, June 8, 2020 at 6:05 a.m.


  15. Fidel Colman, June 5, 2020 at 8 a.m.

    I appreciate Michael´s courage to voice his opinion publicly knowing the heat he may take for doing so. I happen to agree with his point of view on this matter, but even if I disagreed I believe in Michael´s right to share his opinion & that of Soccer America in publishing it. 

  16. Valerie Metzler, June 5, 2020 at 8:20 a.m.

    Thank you, Soccer America, for sharing this message!  We, in this household, really appreciate it.

  17. Peter Bechtold, June 5, 2020 at 8:41 a.m.

    A US citizen for more than 55 years, I have lived and worked professionally on three different continents. When one is involved in multiple cultures, one gains a very different perspective on the one we grow up with.
    The main take-away of Michael Bradley's comments is that he has lived in Canada (Toronto area) for the last 6 years. He has also played professionally in Holland, Germany and briefly in England. No wonder that he sees the current USA differently from how he grew up (and how much of the Western world sees us now).

  18. David Ruder, June 5, 2020 at 9:33 a.m.

    Stick to Soccer Michael, I don't think anybody is interested in your political views one way or the other.

  19. peter grill, June 5, 2020 at 9:59 a.m.

    Mr Zylker, Has it occured to you that maybe the reason you have not seen an article critical to Obama is that he is not nor was not a narcisistic meglomaniac that had no clue what it means to be a statesman or diplomat . If life was a pick up soccer match, Trump would be left on the sidelines because nobody want to have a player on their team who is not a team player. Trumpacts as if the match is always about him not about the team he plays for. Sorry you were offended by Bradely's political statement .It's terrible when an athlete doesn't realise his purpose inl ife is to keep us mindlessly entertained. Shame on you Michael for sharing your thoughts with us.

  20. Wooden Ships replied, June 5, 2020 at 3:41 p.m.

    Peter, are you more uncomfortable with his unprecedented achievements or his flawed personality. Get a grip.

  21. Ken Fadner replied, June 9, 2020 at 12:05 p.m.

    WS: "unprecedented achievements" -- name a few please

  22. P Van, June 5, 2020 at 11:37 a.m.

    I think it's completely appropriate to publish the articulate words of someone who was once, not only a regular member of the squad, but the captain of the National Team, and a former National Team coach's son. I welcome it. Also, SA is a soccer magazine, and he's been a major player in the US soccer world, whether he's as good as Busquets (or not !), he's also been one of the better ones we've had in the last 10 years. Publishing different opinions from other soccer figures would be welcome reading too. Sports and politics play off one another regularly. We'd do well as a country to be as informed about issues affecting our country as we are about the stats and betting pools we regularly engage with. @Guillory: I think Bradley means reading books and articles, seeing films, talking to black athletes about racial inequality and their experiences, civil rights, so that can be a better ally, more thoughtful and informed citizen. I think he'd like to see some Republican senators voted out too. But I agree with him--Trump would be a very good start. 

  23. Rey Phillips replied, June 5, 2020 at 11:50 a.m.

    Well said, P Van.

    If people don't want to read Michael Bradley's political opinions, which as P Van rightly points out is not only SA's right but may be of interest to many (like David Ruder's household), then people don't need to read the article.  The headline explicitly forecast that it would concern politics.  

    I regularly come across articles from all sorts of publications that talk about the political views of athletes.  I have read the political opinions of Tom Brady, Xavi, Alejandro Bedoya, and others, and oftentimes disagree with them.  I don't bother reading many because I don't really care what they think, but they're entitled to their beliefs and the publication is entitled to printing what it wants (unless it starts printing stuff that isn't true, i.e., if SA said that MB said that Trump has a picture of holdiing the Bible in the very same manner, and MB never said that, then I would have a problem).  

  24. Wooden Ships replied, June 6, 2020 at 11 a.m.

    P Van, please tell me you're not Perry Van der Beck, that was 4 years my junior and from the same high school and club? P Van, I have no ill will toward you or others that are part of the soccer family in this country or abroad. I do have a unique and real world experience in force protection missions in this country and overseas. SLA, Black Panthers and Weather Underground ring any bells? I get you and many others don't like the current POTUS and I guess years from now we can evaluate with an unemotional review of results. But, respectfully, offer more than pat cliches when differing with others. It's also unbecoming, unprofessional to speak in the tone that MB and others have to any sitting President. Makes you appear fragile and undisciplined. I'm guessing many here are younger and carrying college degrees, come from a middle/upper middle class background, with orange slice half times in your youth, hoping your student debt will be forgiven and endorse shouting down opinions of which you disagree. One last thing, how many of us, have had real skin in the game of which we are complaining. Do you realize less than 1% of our population has served in the military or law enforcement. Living in your parents basement doesn't count as skin in the game, nor does having a large student debt. 

  25. frank schoon replied, June 6, 2020 at 11:42 a.m.

    Ships, well written. 

  26. Darrell Brown, June 5, 2020 at 12:25 p.m.

    Thank you, Michael, for being courageous enough to express your thoughts. Atheletes are humans and it is important to get your perspective on this most human tragedy. 

    Thank you, SA for publishing this.

  27. Mark Buckley, June 5, 2020 at 2:08 p.m.

    As usual people aren't upset about the brutal murder of a man by a police officer, they're upset that there is some kind of liberal bias in the reporting. A man who was black was brutally murdered by a white poline officer. It seems Michael Bradley is concerned people won't be able to vote. 
    If it was an article about a player who thought Trump is doing a great job would you really have the same complaint? 
    I hope you aren't going to be upset if Soccer America reports on the LA Galaxy releasing a player because of racist social media posts. Remember Trump is being censored by Twitter so this is obviously more  liberal propaganda.

  28. James Madison, June 5, 2020 at 2:28 p.m.

    I love ya, both Mark and Luis,  but I ouldn't disagree more with your comments.  Prominent athletes are as entitled as anyone else to be heard. When one of them speaks, it is news. And the job of SA, like that of any other news medium, is to report the news.

  29. Wooden Ships replied, June 5, 2020 at 3:47 p.m.

    That's a good one James, nearly jettisoned coffee out my nose holes. That's akin to most professors today providing balance. Where have you been, academia? 

  30. frank schoon, June 5, 2020 at 4:41 p.m.

    I sense a lot of hatred in some of the comments . MB certainly has a right to state what he believes...that's what America is all about. It doesn't bother me for I usually take with a grain of salt political comments that especially come out of the Sports world or Hollywood. But being European, not an American citizen and never voted and having lived here over 50 years, I have sensed in the past 20 years a deterioration of respect for other's political opinions.  I was introduced into the American culture years ago, in an environment  where one would say that "even I disagree with what you say but I will fight to protect what you say" That ,thinking unfortunately is no longer expressed ,instead would be accused of 'hate speech. We people are called names ,you're anti this, anti that, Nazi, Fascist,xenophobe, anti -immigrant when you only want those that enter the USA to be legal and not cut in line for others who have been waiting. 
    The adolescent political reactions  today towards each other ,I find so immature and Un-American.

    I don't know what trump has to do with a policeman in Minneapolis, in a democraticly run city, with democratic mayor, in democratic run state. Or look at Illinois, Chicago, again, a democratic city, a democratic mayor, in Democratic run state, or Baltimore , a democratic run city in democratic, in a one-party democratic of Maryland....I could name more...Maybe we need to look why we have so many problems in education, economic problems, crime ,etc in these forementioned examples.

    Instead we have people screaming at a president who didn't cause any these problems for they  have been around a long time ; if anything he has done in many way such as  improving  economy, reduced regulations for business (jobs) to thrive more jobs, blah, blah, blah. He was duly elected, just like Obama ,whom I didn't care for one wit but accepted the outcome and lived with it ,after all ,you win some ,you lose some. But apparently the losers are unable to handle the loss. 


  31. frank schoon, June 5, 2020 at 4:42 p.m.

    BLM movement all of sudden appears. If they really care about Black lives why don't they go to Chicago or Baltimore ,set up an office long term with their recent donations and kick up a fuss. That's where they should be instead of waiting around for an opportunity to appear.

    Besides being sickened by what in Minneapolis, I likewise was extremely sickened by a father in Iran, beheading his beautiful 14 year old daughter, in an honor killing. Where was the outrage on this ,world wide.

    MB mentioned 'morality'. Well, I'm waiting from the senate judiciary investigation, that involves spying on a political candidate, Trump. The Obama administration, weaponized the IRS, against conservative groups. And likewise weaponized the DOJ, FBI and CIA and employing illegally FISA warrants against Trump.....This is something you expect from our communist friends and dictators but not in AMERICA....and I hope they will punish those scumbags who have made a mockery of our Democracy.....


  32. Wooden Ships replied, June 5, 2020 at 5:37 p.m.

    Frank, I can't remember every disagreeing with you and this is no different. Thanks. I'm afraid many people don't understand the adage of "be careful what you wish for."

  33. Alan Blackledge replied, June 5, 2020 at 6:43 p.m.

    Frank, I have disagreed with some of your posts in the past...not this one. You hit the nail directly on the head! Trump is not perfect...but Hillary would have been a nightmare! What the House has done to Kavenaugh and the rediculus impeachment is unbelievable. Where is the outrage over the railroad impeachment and Russia hoax...The Biden Ukraine "deal"...

  34. P Van replied, June 6, 2020 at 4:46 a.m.

    Frank, where do you get your non-sports news? Really?, I want to know. You wrote a lot here. I don't even know where I'd go to support one of your claims...Fox? Breitbart?

  35. Bob Ashpole replied, June 7, 2020 at 3:43 p.m.

    Frank, I didn't want to say anything, but I feel I have to respond to your third paragraph. While some have "nitpicked" the lint on one FISA warrant application, the warrant wasn't 1) illegal or 2) aimed at Trump. Apparently you are relying on false political propaganda instead of responsible journalism.

    General (ret.) Flynn is dumber than I thought if he believed he could contact a Russian diplomat and not be observed by US intelligence survellience on the Russians. I can understand how citizens can be mislead by the propaganda, but if you noticed the official criticism is not about the warrant, but rather about the application.

    Please note that nothing I said represents a political view. 

  36. Wooden Ships replied, June 7, 2020 at 4:17 p.m.

    I beg to differ with you Bob, when you state you've declared your comments apolitical. When claiming some have consumed propaganda and that their is absolute responsible journalism, I feel you are overlooking/dismissing many people. We know Flynn and President Obama didn't get along (not important those issues), but newly elected President Trump brought him aboard. Let me ask you this Bob, do you believe there has been a concerted effort to undermine this President? 

  37. frank schoon replied, June 7, 2020 at 5:18 p.m.

    Bob, I'm not going into the nitpicking situation here with Gen. Flynn. My main issue is about the FISA warrants and how they were gotten. Rosenstein, who was suppose to read  off on the FISA documents ,didn't fully read them but signed off on them regardless. Just imagine the gravity of this particular warrant and who it pertains to ,to just haphazardly, in such a non-caring manner sign off on this FISA without even fully reading it is beyond comprehension. If he had fully read them he would not have signed off on this garbage in the first place....Go watch some of his Youtube testimony....talk about CYA. I find this whole situation appalling and not to mention how FBI had it in for Gen.Flynn in trying to "get him to lie". There is more to come and certainly doesn't look good and I'm glad Grenell has declassified more info....

    Just food for thought. This whole disaster began with your's truly Hillary Clinton and the fake dossier and on the other side we have Obama, no doubt he was involved and his cronies in the white house coming from another direction through the executive branch.  Interesting two people Obama and Hillary, both graduates of the school of politics of Saul Alinsky....

  38. Bob Ashpole replied, June 8, 2020 at 1:24 p.m.

    You both are missing the point.

    The criticism was of the warrant application, not the warrant. If you are assuming that a defect in a warrant application invalidates a warrant, you are wrong. A judge can change thier mind and withdraw a valid warrant, but the application is not the warrant. 

    Describing the application criticism as "lint picking" is my professional view, not a political view.

  39. frank schoon replied, June 8, 2020 at 3:31 p.m.

    Bob, I don't want to get into the weeds with this thing or rather arguing over where the deck chairs  originally should been placed on the Titanic.  I think you're totally overlooking the general thrust of what I"m trying to say and that is basically what Ships states is the " undermining of the presidency".  Watch Josh Hawley ask Rob Rosenstein's testimony and how the FISA warrant had about 17 mistakes that were wrong and this  FISA warrant should never have been signed off by Rosenstein for all the mistakes in it. 

    Sen. Josh Hawley Questions Former Deputy AG Rosenstein Over Crossfire Hurricane Investigation - YouTube

    TENSE MOMENTS: Lindsey Graham GRILLS Rod Rosenstein - YouTube

    As far as me watching out for responsible journalism, careful not to mix it up with propaganda, you might have a point there.  Responsible journalism is very difficult to find these days. I certainly don't follow MSM journalism for in that sector we have lost what used to be real journalism. I think MSM although it is accused of bias I find it more that they don't report especially when it runs counter to their Agenda, which to me slanted towards the democratic party.  I noticed that when I talk to my relatives in Holland in how they view the situation in the USA. for what  they read in the dutch newspapers is directly from the New York Times seen as the gospel. They have such simplistic one-sided view of things and besides they don't even have talk radio culture....

  40. Bob Ashpole replied, June 8, 2020 at 5:17 p.m.

    Frank, I didn't "overlook" anything. I only responded to your implication in the 3rd paragraph that the FISA warrants were illegal. You can believe what you want about conspiracies to "undermine" Trump. I call it honest people doing their jobs with integrity. Do career federal employees and military follow illegal orders? Of course not. It is a rare exception within DOD and DOJ. Political appointees and the rank and file have very different cultures, so there is always some pushback. Doesn't matter which political party the appointees belong to.

    As a retired federal attorney, I probably have a very different view of the federal government than most people. The basic job of a government attorney is to steer agency officials to a legal course of action away from an illegal one. Basically I advised leaders how to accomplish their goals without breaking any laws. You can call that undermining, but I call it doing my job.

  41. D A, June 5, 2020 at 5:34 p.m.

    I also read Soccer America to try to escape from all this stuff.  I don't come here to read about politics.  Please Soccer America, don't turn into political soccer coverage.  Otherwise you will lose this 30-year plus subscriber.  

  42. Ankl Brkr, June 5, 2020 at 10:14 p.m.

    So... he should just "Shut up and dribble" - right? Your antiquated thinking is like the US Soccer system - dated and out of touch.

    If you don't know by now why people are protesting and angry across the world, you'll never get it. And if you feel 45 has nothing to do with any of this... again, you'll never get it.

    Thank you, MB, much respect for being brave and taking a stand against injustice! People across the world don't have time for this ridiculous nonsense anymore, and they are not going to sit back quiet and idle any further. 

  43. Sean Guillory replied, June 6, 2020 at 1:37 p.m.

    Again, I am black Ankl and this stuff was happenign well before 45.  LAst I checked, Rodney King was in 92 and Treyvon Martin was in 2012.  If you are soooo concerned, come join me in the inner city of Houston and introduce soccer and mentoring to the black youth there.  Lets go! talk is cheap!

  44. Ankl Brkr replied, June 6, 2020 at 3:27 p.m.

    This is why I stay off social media... so incredibly frustrating.  However, I felt compelled to say something considering many of the commenters on this post are constantly calling for change within the US Soccer system, but then on the other hand, are telling Soccer America and Michael Bradley to keep quiet about social injustice.  Good for MB and countless others for using their platforms to stand up to social injustice and systemic racism. 

    And to your points --

    You're right... racism and social injustic has been occurring for thousands of years.  However, we have never, at least in the modern era, had a president that has openly emboldened white nationailsm during their presidency.  There are too many instances to even count over the past 3 1/2 years.  He is the great divider-in-chief.  He only cares about himself and his base.  People that don't want to believe it by now, never will, and those were my two main talking points.  Everyone else who has their blinders off will not just "Shut up and dribble."

    Lastly, my resume is not in question, I have nothing to prove.  I have been teaching in Title 1 schools for over twenty years.  I am in the trenches every day making a difference the best I can to provide opportunities for less fortunate kids that otherwise would not have opportunities available to them.

  45. R2 Dad, June 6, 2020 at 5:02 p.m.

    Unintended consequences being what they are, this article turned in to a cluster. People in entertainment (sports, music, et al) are entitled to an opinion, no matter how ill-conceived. And SA  can run them, though I woiuld prefer you turn off comments for anything perceived as politically controversial &/or biased.

  46. Wooden Ships replied, June 6, 2020 at 5:39 p.m.

    I could go for that R2, however, SA has never demonstrated balance in reporting or their contempt ( through others ) with the current administration. Unfortunately, in 
    my perception, they bait/pander like so many other media sources and entertainment venues. My 2 cents worth anyway. As a consumer I do choose where my money is spent, I just find it unnecessary in a soccer periodical to inject (SA) division. We all remember what ultimately ended apartheid, shareholders divesting themselves.

  47. Bob Ashpole, June 7, 2020 at 3:45 p.m.

    Life is politics. I don't expect to escape it here, but what I expected was to escape the trolling and personnal attacks found on other forums. Can't we all disagree without the insults?

  48. E Velazquez, June 8, 2020 at 6:01 a.m.

    When I subscribed to Soccer America  was essentially to obtain information and news ot the sport. Is is sad to read the comments of  M Bradley published by the editor of the magazine. As a professional player this  player  should improve his  soccer abilities rather than acting as a political commentator. SHAME  Soccer America.

  49. humble 1, June 8, 2020 at 2:58 p.m.

    Unwise comments from MB.  He'll have to live with them now on and off the pitch.  Just like the failure to qualify for the WC.  It the world of soccer, he is but a bit player, but here in the USA he was part of the 'golden' generation that got 'paid' by the MLS then promptly played the USA out of the World Cup.  Wise would be to let the players of colors and shades speak that have been in the line of fire.  Uncommon it is common sense.

  50. Ian Plenderleith, June 8, 2020 at 3:46 p.m.

    Why on earth should soccer players not be allowed to express political opinions? Does it say that somewhere in their contracts? If so, would that not be a violation of their civil rights? Sure, be critical of what he says, if you disagree - that's how democracy works. But whenever a high-profile player says something that doesn't sit well with the right, they react like (to use one of their favorite terms of personal abuse) snowflakes. It's almost as if they are uncomfortable with hearing certain hot issues such as race, morality and tax being discussed at all. But if not now, when? Why are some so sensitive to debate, when we all agree that America is such a great country precisely because we are free to debate exactly these issues?   

    And what kind of publication would Soccer America be if it ignored the former US national team captain speaking out on these issues at a time when everything else, soccer included, is utterly insignificant? All they have done is to report the words he said and put them out there for us to discuss - in a calm, rational and measured manner, of course.   

  51. Ken Fadner, June 10, 2020 at 8:56 a.m.

    Well done, Paul Kennedy. The vast majority of SA readers support your decision to publish Michael Bradley's comments as newsworthy. And so do I.

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