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The Real Reason Behind Weston McKennie Looking ‘Overweight’ in USMNT Photo

The Real Reason Behind Weston McKennie Looking ‘Overweight’ in USMNT Photo

The 2024 Copa America host nation, USA, kicked off their journey with a 2-0 win over Bolivia on Sunday. Despite the win in front of 47,873 fans, there were concerns raised about the USA midfielder Weston Mckennie.

After the USMNT’s social media handle posted a picture of McKennie on X (fka Twitter), fans took notice of something different about the former Schalke star. His jersey was tucked in, making him look overweight.

Many fans in the comments raised the issue of McKennie looking bigger than usual and only the tucked-in shirt wasn’t the problem.

One fan raised a question about whether McKennie is on Prednisone, a steroid used to cure flares.

While many pointed out the effect of Italian food due to his Juventus ties, food should be the last thing to be worried about. A pro athlete goes through a full week of training and stays under a strict diet while contracted to a club.

Given his injury history, taking flare-reducing steroids could be a possible reason. But then again, players go under random testing all the time, so there is a high chance that I’d have been discovered. Any sort of corticosteroid (prednisone falls under the same category) is banned during in-season competition usage.

So, if you’re not using it during the season to reduce physical stress, then there’s no point in using it during the off-season as it is not an addictive substance.

But now comes the big reveal. According to Cleveland Clinic, prednisone can have multiple side effects. Increased fat around the midsection, upper back, neck, or face, are the ones that need highlighting in this case.

McKennie was out for almost 3 months during the 2021/22 season due to a metatarsal fracture. During an operative recovery, doctors prescribe prednisone. Hence, the theory about steroid-influenced fat is not out of the window.

However, things could’ve been worse. His uninspiring loan spell with Leeds United in the 2022/23 season was a nightmare for the USA star. In the final game of the season, the Leeds fans chanted, ‘You fat b***d’ at McKennie as the team went down to the second tier of English football.

McKennie’s father responded by saying, ‘Even on Wes’ worst day he is in better physical shape than those who call him overweight! You only wish you had his physicality. It’s time to let go of the Leeds drama and move on! I am proud of him for not paying any attention to the negative comments out here.’

McKennie himself reflected on the abuse. In an interview with The Yorkshire Post, the Juventus star said, ‘Probably one of my lower points, if not the lowest in my professional career.’

“Everyone knows that I’m more thick-boned than some other players, in that my body shape is the way that it is. But when people started out saying, ‘You fat b****’ and ‘you pig’ and ‘you monkey’ and stuff like that, people don’t really realise the effect that it has on people.”

He further added, ‘Luckily, I had my personal chef, Patrick Contorno, who works with me in Italy, and he was living over in England with me and I had my assistant Charles also living with me.’ If not for them, McKennie, could’ve led to a path of crushing depression as he said in the interview.

While he himself disclosed his thick bone type, the round mound shape of him displayed above in the pictures has a simple reason and that is his tucked-in shirt. The jersey is not like the body-hugging type mostly seen in Puma jerseys. The loose nature of the shirt ensured there was significant airflow between the fabric and the body and tucking in only bloated the waist region due to that.