Raheem Sterling responds to abuse suffered at Stamford Bridge and says newspapers 'fuel racism'
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has responded to alleged racist abuse he suffered at Stamford Bridge last night and accused newspapers of helping to “fuel racism” with the way in which they portray young black footballers.
Police are investigating an allegation that Sterling was racially abused by a Chelsea fan during the win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge yesterday evening.
There were complaints on social media that Sterling was targeted by a supporter in the Matthew Harding Stand, although there was no suggestion from Chelsea that the footage proved the case either way.
Responding to the incident, Sterling wrote in a post on his Instagram account that he ‘had to laugh because I don’t expect no better’.
Sterling, who turned 24 yesterday, went on to attack the way newsapapers portray young black footballers.
He wrote: “When you have two young players starting out there (sic) careers both play for the same team, both have done the right thing. Which is buy a new house for there (sic) mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the newspapers get there (sic) message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer.”
Sterling’s post was connected to two stories in the Daily Mail. The first reported on a young black City player, aged 20, who earns £25,000 a month and paid £2.25m for a mansion ‘despite never starting a Premier League match’. The second was a story on ‘starlet’ Phil Foden who bought a £2m house for his mother. Chelsea are also investigating last night’s incident Credit: Getty Images
The England forward went on to write: “I think this is unacceptable both innocent have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded. This young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an aggressive behaviour, so for all the newspapers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age all I have to say is have a second though about fair publicity an give players an equal chance.”
Campaign group Kick it Out have offered their support to the player following his social media comments.
“We stand alongside him and any other player who has to endure this kind of abuse,” the organisation posted on Twitter.
Kick It Out chair Lord Ouseley has called on the game’s leaders to address the incident at Stamford Bridge and the issues raised by Sterling on Sunday.
He wrote: “What happened at Chelsea shows what is still going on in football.
“Where is (Premier League executive chairman) Richard Scudamore, where is (Football Association chairman) Greg Clarke, where is Chelsea’s chairman (Bruce Buck) – they should have been talking out last night and it has to be dealt with at the top.
“We do not have any leadership at the top of the game to speak out, they rely on Kick It Out.
“We have already made comments about the way Raheem Sterling has been treated differently by the media. The print media often targets, not just black players, but all footballers.
“Raheem Sterling has received bad press over the last few years because of his lifestyle, and clearly, there are issues from potential stories adding to prejudice and I have every sympathy for him.”
Chelsea, meanwhile, are also investigating last night’s incident. A spokesman said: “We're aware of reports and video footage. We will investigate the matter and take the strongest possible action where necessary.” The club could potentially issue a lifetime ban if the person in question is a season ticket-holder