EPL

England defender Danny Rose says suffering racism is 'everyday life'

By Sports Desk August 03, 2020

England defender Danny Rose has detailed his experiences of being racially profiled, stating: "I just laugh because I know what's coming".

Rose, who concluded the 2019-20 Premier League season on loan at Newcastle United from Tottenham, has previously spoken out over receiving racist abuse on the football field – most notably when representing England at both Under-21 and senior level during matches against Serbia and Montenegro respectively.

Speaking to The Second Captains' podcast, the 30-year-old said the football authorities' attempts to deal with such incidents have been "laughable".

However, he also pointed out his negative experiences as a black Englishman are often rooted much closer to home, citing frequently being stopped by police while driving and a recent exchange in the first-class carriage of a train.

"My attitude towards it is it's happening again, and I have to get on with it. Someone's going to get a laughable fine and it's business as usual next week," he said.

"But it's not just football. I got stopped by the police last week, which is a regular occurrence whenever I go back to Doncaster, where I'm from.

"Each time it's, 'Is this car stolen? Where did you get this car? What are you doing here? Can you prove that you bought this car?'.

"That's been happening since I was 18, since I was driving. And you know, each time it happens, I just laugh because I know what's coming and it's just how it is.

"One of the last times I got on the train, I got on there with my bags and straight away the attendant says, 'Do you know this is first class?'.

"I say, 'Yeah, so what?' and they say, 'Oh well, let me see your ticket then'.

"So, I showed the lady my ticket and, this is no word of a lie, two white people walked on the train right after me and she said nothing.

"And I said, 'Well, are you not going to ask for their tickets?' and she said, 'Oh, well, no, I don't need to'."

Rose continued: "People might think it happens, but to me that's racism. These are the sort of things I have to put up with. This is everyday life for me.

"I feel embarrassed to even complain in a way and bring this up when you see the incident in America where a black man lost his life at the hands of people who are supposed to protect and serve.

"Whenever I do complain about things, you hear people say, 'you're on this money, so get on with it'. I give up with hoping things will change because that's some people's mentality towards racism."

That incident in America, the death of George Floyd while in police custody, sparked protests across the world.

Rose explained how the decision for Premier League players to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement emerged from suggestions made in a WhatsApp group shared by the captains of each club.

"It was a beautiful thing that had been suggested. I just hope it is as powerful as it looks on TV [now] in years to come," he said.

"I have no idea [how much impact it can make]. You have to wait and see. There's never been such a devastating incident as what had happened in America with George Floyd passing away. That's one of the biggest things that I've seen in the world.

"But things have happened in the past and after a month or two it's just business as normal.

"I hope this is something now that will catch everyone's eyes, ears and minds. All we can do now is wait and see. Hopefully, nothing like that happens again and there is equality everywhere – in football and the world."

However, in further explaining his latest dealings with police in his hometown, a wearied Rose conceded a lifetime of similar experiences makes it hard for him to envisage genuine change.

"When this happened last week, I'd just left my mum's house. I was pulled up in a car park, the engine was off," he said.

"The police pulled in, they brought a riot van, three police cars and they questioned me saying we've had a report that we've had a car that was not driving correctly.

"I'm like, 'Okay, why does that make it my car?'. They got my DL [driving license], they breathalysed me.

"Honestly, it's just one of those things to me now. I don't understand what I can do or who I can complain to anymore.

"This first happened to me when I was 15 and now, I'm 30. It's 15 years of this on and off the field happening and there's no change whatsoever.

"I don't want to be repeating the same words that I say, and people end up saying, 'Oh, be quiet – he's always moaning' but those are my experiences. I'll be honest: that will not be the last of my experiences."

Stats Perform News approached South Yorkshire Police for their comments on Rose's observations.

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