Former Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White is a black man, a rich black man by all accounts. Heck, he was once one of the best wide receivers in the National Football League less than five years ago. But a recent run-in with DeKalb County police officer may have had White feeling like just another brother during a traffic stop.
White told the world of the incident via Twitter and recounted it for CNN on Wednesday to former teammate Coy Wire.
White played 11 NFL seasons for the Falcons. In 2010, he led the league with 115 receptions and was named to the All-Pro team. He told CNN that he became worried for his safety after the officer unsnapped the restraint on his holster and grabbed his gun.
“I said, ‘On a routine traffic stop for a speeding ticket, its protocol for you to get out of our car and put your hand on your weapon and come walk to someone’s car?’ He told me, ‘Yeah, yeah, that’s police protocol.'”
“So I was like, ‘Are you serious?'” White said the officer told him, “No, that’s my protocol, that’s what I do as a police officer.”
“It was a scary moment for me because at that time I was like anybody else — I felt vulnerable.”
“If something went wrong or if I tried to argue with this guy … I could’ve got shot.”
“It’s cops like you that makes this world a very ugly place its a good thing I already had all my information to give him or I could’ve died on a routine traffic stop cause if u stopping me for speeding I don’t see a reason to grab your gun,” White tweeted.
White credited the advice his mother gave him for possibly saving his life: have your information ready and the window down before the officer gets there. He was driving a Camaro with tinted windows on Interstate 285 and said he didn’t realize he was speeding .
With the excruciating and heartbreaking shooting death of Philandro Castile in the news cycle once again as the officer who shot him has just been charged with manslaughter in Minnesota, I will not judge White for being scared for his life. And those who would scoff likely have never feared for their lives either.