WATFORD star Andre Gray says black people are “stereotyped and judge by police’ in England.
Speaking in the wake of the George Floyd protests across the UK and US, Gray told The Guardian he believes police brutality is prevalent on both sides of the Atlantic.
Sports stars including world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua and Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings have joined recent Black Lives Matter protests.
And Gray, who has tattoos of famous black figures including Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Bob Marley and Malcolm X, believes it is time for major change in this country.
He said: “There are ignorant people that don’t understand what we are marching and protesting about.
“It’s not just about George Floyd and the brutality that is going on in America.
“It is about what is going on in England and the rest of the world.
“I feel we are lucky we don’t have armed police officers on the street because we are still stereotyped and judged by these police officers over here, just the same [as in the US].
“I can’t even count how many times I’ve been pulled over.
“I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to a club and not got in, how any times a security guard has followed me round a shop.
“I can’t count how many times that somebody has asked me if I’m a footballer because I’ve come out of a nice car.
“Look, at the end of the day, I’m three people in the country.
“And that’s either a footballer, a rapper or a drug dealer. These are the facts.
“So the matches over here are not just for the police brutality in America – it’s for England as well.
“And Paris and all over the world. It’s because of the systematic racism that is everywhere.”
Gray believes the Black Lives Matter protests should continue until there is tangible change.
He said: “Things have got to change.
“It’s at a point now where… what is it going to take?
“People are complaining about the protests, they’ve always got something to say but they don’t understand how we feel.
“They don’t get it. All way they want to say is, ‘No, all lives matter’, but this is not the point.
“We are fighting because black lives don’t matter. That is a simple as it is.”
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