Newspaper article The Canadian Press

U.S. Forward Jozy Altidore Says More Communication Needed to Combat Racism, Discord

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

U.S. Forward Jozy Altidore Says More Communication Needed to Combat Racism, Discord

Article excerpt

Altidore make plea for people to listen

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TORONTO - U.S. soccer captain Michael Bradley has shared his political views in recent days. Now Jozy Altidore, his Toronto FC and U.S. teammate, is having his say on trying to end the division south of the border.

Speaking in an MLS Black History Month roundtable video, Altidore makes an eloquent plea for Americans to find a way to discuss their differences.

"It's hard to talk about politics with people. Everybody has a different view. It's a passionate topic," he says. "But I think that's the first step in terms of reaching, hopefully one day, a place where everybody can be kind of OK with somebody's else's opinion. You have to be. Right now the country is so divided in a way that a country like the U.S. shouldn't be.

"And that's because we haven't been listening to each other, whether it be blacks or whites, whether it be Republicans and Democrats. Whatever it is. We need to find a way, a peaceful way to sit down and voice our differences. I know it sounds very cliched but it needs to happen. Because things are going to get worse before they get better. And we don't want that."

The roundtable, taped over brunch in New York City and available on , features Altidore, U.S. women's international Lynn Williams, New York Times reporter Greg Howard, FC Harlem founder Irv Smalls and moderator Kevin Brown.

The 27-year-old Altidore, who recently won his 100th cap for the U.S., calls America the greatest country in the world. But he says the exchange of views is sorely needed given the current political landscape.

"I love (the U.S.) but I think that conversation needs to happen. It's a strong conversation, it's an awkward one but it makes for a better tomorrow, for sure."

In an interview after training Wednesday, Altidore said people may not agree after that conversation "but at least you understand what is going on on that side and why that side believes what they believe. And I think that's something that really important and we need to get back to."

In the video, Altidore says growing up he was inspired by point guard Allen Iverson. "Just the way he played the game, the way he was so competitive and he had such a big heart. …

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