Rose laments lack of action on racism

Tottenham defender Danny Rose has once again hit out at the level of racism in football, this time going as far as to say that he “can’t wait” to retire from the sport and get out of the game. The 28-year-old was one of several England players who were subjected to vile chants from home supporters when the Three Lions travelled to Montenegro for a Euro 2020 qualifier last month, and while the players in question were clearly supported by their own team-mates and management the host nation essentially denied any knowledge of such treatment, which was described by many who made the claim to be “disgusting”.

In Serie A, Juventus youngster Moise Kean was another victim of racist chants but he did not seem to have quite as much support as the England players did, with team-mate Leonardo Bonucci claiming the 19-year-old was “partially to blame” for the abuse. Juventus coach Max Allegri also stated his belief that Kean had goaded Cagliari fans during the recent meeting between the two sides. Rose has since arrived to the conclusion that the issue is not going to be sorted during his playing career, with the abuse in Montenegro actually being expected in advance owing to his own experience playing for England U-21s in Serbia eight years ago. 

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“I sort of prepared myself anyway for what happened, so I was fine. I prepared myself for it,” he said, before adding: “I played in Serbia about eight years ago and it happened here. So I sort of thought it would be a possibility that it might happen again and it did.” When asked about the issue of racism in football in the modern day, Rose – who has never had a problem speaking his mind when the situation calls for it – was both damning and resigned in his response. 

Admitting he is counting down the years until he nears retirement age from the sport, he said: “At the minute how I programme myself I just think to myself: ‘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. It’s just – whatever, isn’t it? I just want to get out of it. That’s how I feel. I feel I‘ve got five or six more years left and I just want to enjoy football as much as I can. There is so much politics and whatever in football and I just can’t wait to see the back of it, to be honest.”

Rose, who has spent time during his Spurs career on loan at the likes of Watford and Sunderland, made his England debut in 2016 and has accrued 26 caps for the Three Lions so far. He began his career at Leeds United, but did not make a competitive appearance for the club before joining the north London outfit for around £1m in 2007. He revealed in June 2018 that he was suffering from depression. Having been the subject of such vile racist abuse for so many years, it is completely understandable that the Doncaster-born defender wants to get away from the sport. In most walks of life anyone dishing out such vitriol would be sacked and/or face criminal prosecution (depending on the situation), and while this has been known to be the case on occasion at football matches it seems all-too-easy for the guilty to dish out and get away relatively lightly. 

Rose himself believes the sanctions are too lenient as well, saying that “the punishments for racist abuse are not harsh enough, with countries only getting fined what I probably spend on a night out in London.” International team-mate Raheem Sterling has also been the victim of such behaviour, and he spoke out recently, saying: “It’s now time for the people that are in charge to put a real stamp on it because you can fine someone but what’s that going to do?”

Ultimately, Rose looking forward to his retirement at this stage seems a shame. It is, of course, fine for a footballer to look forward to the next chapter in their lives after their playing days are over, but to look forward to no longer being a footballer owing to the political climate surrounding the game is terribly unfair on Rose, despite it being so understandable. 

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