Ex-Everton striker Anichebe says frustrated by police stops targeting blacks

LIVERPOOL (Reuters) – Former Everton striker Victor Anichebe says he has grown weary of being racially discriminated against after being stopped by police while driving his car last week.

Anichebe, 32, said he was pulled over by police officers after leaving a petrol station on Merseyside in England, an incident he labelled a “joke”.

“A lot of the times, I am a lot more level-headed but because of everything that’s going on I am just tired,” Anichebe, who also played for West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland, told Sky Sports.

“They … followed me for a good five minutes. They pulled me over and said I drove over a kerb.

“I said it’s a disgrace and it’s only because I am black and driving a nice car that you are pulling me over. They just kept saying … this is routine and I shouldn’t be angry. But we are, we are all angry. We are tired of the things going on.”

Merseyside police said in a statement to Sky Sports it was their duty to stop people when there was a concern with the standard of driving to ensure protection of all involved. In the Anichebe incident, the driver was “allowed to carry on without any penalty”, according to the statement.

The Nigerian striker, who has previously faced racist abuse while playing for Everton in a Europa League game, stressed on the importance of education to help spark change.

“I just feel people are not going to stop until change happens. I do feel like a lot of people want change. I think that a conversation needs to happen,” he said.

Anichebe has signalled his interest in buying a soccer club to try and improve ethnic minority representation in positions of power within the sport, a problem that has come to light through the Black Lives Matter movement in recent months.

“I would like to go down that route of owning a team. I do have a group of people that are quite wealthy and together we could come together … Instead of wanting change, we can be the change ourselves,” he said.