Tottenham Hotspur and England star Danny Rose has given some candid commentary on the issue of race in contemporary world football that we all need to pay attention to. Rose has said that the ugly racism ever present in the beautiful game is so abominable that it makes him look forward to the days when his playing career is behind him.
Danny Rose also said the fines levied against teams when their supporters engage in racist behavior is so low that it’s on par with what he spends for a night on the town in London. Rose’s comments are making waves in media outlets all over the world, but the question is- will anything change?
Rose was the victim of racist chants last week during England’s 5-1 victory at Montenegro in a Euro 2020 qualifier. The left back was one of several players targeted by home supporters in Podgorica that evening, and UEFA has since charged Montenegro with racist behavior over the incident.
“A country can only get fined a little bit of money for being racist, it’s a bit of a farce isn’t it?” Rose said. “I’ve had enough.”
“At the minute, how I’ve programmed myself now, I just think that I’ve got five or six more years left in football and I just can’t wait to see the back of it, seeing how things are done in the game at the minute. There’s so many politics and whatever in football.
“I can’t wait to see the back of it.”
(Interesting discussion, via NBC Sports, on what Danny Rose had to say, and the reaction of managers across the Premier League to it below)
“It didn’t affect my game. I’m a big boy now. I know three points isn’t the most important thing when you’re going through things like that, but I just wanted the team to get three points, to move on and get out of Montenegro as quickly as possible
“Obviously it’s sad [to have to prepare yourself for that] but when countries only get fined what I probably spend on a night out in London then what do you expect?
“You see my manager [Mauricio Pochettino] get banned for two games for just being confrontational against Mike Dean at Burnley. Yet a country can only get fined a little bit of money for being racist. It’s just a bit of a farce at the minute.
“That’s where we’re at now in football and until there’s a harsh punishment there’s not much else we can expect I don’t think.”
Rose joins fellow England international and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling as well as Belgium/Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku as high profile players to candidly speak out about this serious pressing issue, and obviously, we’re not really listening enough. How many more players need to speak out in order to see stricter punitive action taken?
As Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said, racism is everywhere.
Guardiola, as well as Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, said they hope Danny Rose doesn’t walk away from the game, and instead stays around and fights against racism and bigotry.
This situation has some similarities to Major League Baseball and their tortured history with integration. In nine days, MLB will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day, honoring the player who broke the sport’s color barrier in 1947. Or at least that’s what history tells us.
Robinson was the first black player in baseball to endure all the deplorable racism and disgusting bigotry well enough to open the door for other black players to enter the sport. While he’s a hero and a trail blazer, the actual first black player in baseball was Moses Fleetwood Walker, who was also known as Fleet Walker.
His career in professional baseball only lasted a few years, way back in the 1880s because the racism and bigotry he endured broke him as a person.
His story is a really said one, and you can hear it in detail on this edition of The Dollop podcast. It’s equally sad, perhaps even sadder that here we are, more than 130 years later and we’re still talking about a top notch athlete falling out of love with his game due to the racism he has been subjected to.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.