The Reds complained after their 2-1 win that the player – who does not wish to be named – had been racially abused by a Millwall fan near the tunnel as the visitors were walking off the pitch. They are working with Millwall and the Metropolitan Police to investigate.
Coach Rose said: “Did it take away from the victory? To an extent, yes. Football is football but life is more important and the main thing is to make sure is that the player is OK. It was hard for him but he’s happy that we got three points. The player is OK and we’ll give him whatever help he needs. It’s a problem in society, not just football. It’s not acceptable.” Rose praised Millwall’s efforts to combat racism but says elements of their fanbase will continue to hold those views.
He said: “I have been to Millwall a few times. You know what it is like and you know what the fans will be like. It just amazes me that this still happens in this day and age. What frustrates me more is that a lot of the next generation of fans will be the same because you see the kids carrying on the same way as their fathers. Something has to change.
“In a football ground, it’s a social gathering that represents society and that’s why it is so prevalent. It’s always about education, you can educate people at school but ultimately it is what goes on behind closed doors within families. Football brings out the worst in people at times, which is not a great advert for it. There’s a certain generation in which nine out of ten are never going to change, but we need to address these up and coming youngsters.”
A Millwall statement added: “Millwall Football Club and its security team are working with The Metropolitan Police and Barnsley Football Club to identify a supporter accused of racially abusing a visiting player in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s game between the two sides at The Den. Any individual found guilty of racist abuse at The Den is immediately issued with a lifetime ban and also offered the opportunity to attend Millwall’s ‘Fan Diversity Scheme’.”