British footballer living in the US feels "my life could be taken" by police every single day

Luke Bradshaw
Sports Writer
Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha. (Credit: Jeff Swinger/Getty Images)

Nedum Onuoha, an English footballer who plays in the United States, says he does feel “100% safe” living in the country.

The 33-year-old, who moved to the US in 2018 to play for Real Salt Lake, in Utah, was speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live in the wake of the ongoing protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Onuoha, who was born in Nigeria, but moved to Manchester soon after his birth, said: "I have loved living in this country but there is [another] side of it.

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"I am always very wary of how I behave and how it could be viewed by people who have power.

"For me personally, overall I don't like to say it but I have a fear and distrust towards police."

Protests have taken place in at least 75 American cities after George Floyd died when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck.

The comments from Onuoha come on the same day that in the UK anti-racism organisation Kick It Out said that footballers “should feel free to protest”.

Chair Sanjay Bhandari added that it’s “a fundamental human right to express your beliefs” after players such as Jadon Sancho expressed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Onuoha acknowledged that there are problems in the UK, also, but that the widespread use of guns makes the same problems in the US far more dangerous. He called the police force “people from society with a badge and a gun and a lot more power.”

Nedum Onuoha during his time at Queens Park Rangers (Photo: Scott Heavey/ Getty Images)

The defender, who played for Manchester City, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers over a 14 year career on home soil, said:

"In the UK, I am more comfortable because if something happens it probably will not be deadly. I am comfortable but when it comes to any kind of brutality, if it's from the police, if they read me the wrong way then my life could be taken. I feel that every single day. It is not just me but everybody else as well.”