Tottenham's Danny Rose tired of police stopping him to ask if car is stolen

David Hytner
·3-min read

Danny Rose has said he is regularly stopped by police in his car and questioned in various scenarios that would not happen if he were a white man as he detailed his anger and exasperation at racism in the UK.

The Doncaster-born Tottenham defender, who has spent the second half of the season on loan at Newcastle, has been racially abused on the field, most recently when playing for England in Montenegro in March 2019. He had suffered similarly on England under-21 duty in Serbia in October 2012 and in the wake of the incident in Montenegro said he could not wait to walk away from the game because he was so disgusted by the racism that blights it – and the authorities’ response to it.

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Rose has now opened up on his experiences in wider society, saying he was first stopped by police as a 15-year-old and it was still happening to him at 30. “My friends have been there with me a lot of the time when it’s happened,” he told the Second Captains podcast. “The last time, last week, when I’d just been at my mum’s house, I had pulled up in a car park so the engine was off. The police pulled in and they brought a riot van, three police cars and they questioned me. They said they’d had a report that a car had not been driving correctly.

“So I’m like: ‘OK, so why does that make it my car?’ I got my ID out and they breathalysed me. It’s just one of those things to me now. What can I do? Fifteen years of this on and off the field happening and there’s no change whatsoever.”

Rose described being stopped by police as a regular occurrence. “Each time, it’s: ‘Is this car stolen? Where did you get this car from? What are you doing here? Can you prove that you bought this car?’”

He said there had also been incidents when he has travelled by train. “One of the last times I got on the train, I got on with my bags and the attendant said: ‘Do you know this is first class?’” Rose said. “I say: ‘Yeah, so what?’ They ask to see my ticket and I show the lady it and – this is no word of a lie – two people, white people, walk on the train after me and she says nothing. I asked: ‘Are you not going to ask for their tickets?’ and she just said: ‘Ah no, I don’t need to.’

“People might think it happens but to me that’s racism. These are the things I have to put up with, being stopped all the time and being asked if I know this is first class and to show my ticket.”

Rose said he has been worn down by racism and doubts things can change. “This is everyday life for me but I feel embarrassed to even complain or bring it up when you see the incident in America where a man, a black man, lost his life at the hands of people who were supposed to protect and serve,” he said, referring to the death of George Floyd.

Whenever I do say things or complain, you do hear people say: ‘Well, you’re on this money so just get on with it.’ I just give up with hoping that things will change because that’s some people’s mentality towards racism.”