Saturday, July 20News For London

Sterling Speaks Out

Raheem Sterling speaks out against media representation of black footballers following his recent match against Chelsea FC where he was subject to racist abuse.

In an instagram post Sterling addresses the verbal abuse, highlighting that he is not usually the one to speak on such things but when he thinks his points needs to be heard – he will speak up.

In a passionate paragraph he calls out media outlets and makes an example of The Daily Mail’s portrayal of a story about Phil Forden and Tosin Adarabioyo. Both stories discuss how the young players spend their lucrative salary.

Sterling wrote: “you have two young players starting out there careers both play for the same team, both have done the right thing. Which is buy a new house for there mothers…. But look how the newspapers get there message across for the young black player and then for the young white player. I think this is unacceptable.” (SIC)

“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 thought about fair publicity”

John Barns, former Liverpool and England player echoes this point in his recent interview with BBC news.

He said: “I have an argument as to whether the media influences society or is a reflection of it. More often than not, it influences society.”

In speaking out against the abuse he faced, Sterling has sparked widespread public debate. However, the issue of racism in football has been ongoing.

Raheem Sterling |Photo by wikimedia

Kick It Out is London based charity that campaigns against racism and discrimination in football. Established in 1997, the charity came together in response to the widespread calls from players and fans to tackle racist attitudes existing at the time.The charity, amongst other things, aims to expose and challenge all aspects of discrimination and unfair practices and conduct at all levels of football.  Kick it out chair, Lord Ouseley, said: “It is hugely disappointing to have to reveal, yet again, increasing levels of all forms of discriminatory abuse at football.”

Statistics from the charity reveal an increase in reports of discrimination for the sixth consecutive year. Racism constituted 53 per cent of all reports during the 2017/18 season, a rise of 22 per cent from the previous year.

Sam Biggles, Man City scout, commented on his relationship with young up and coming players.He said “Racism is imbedded in the game, there is clear evidence that it has been there from the very beginning and it has remained that way”

“To tackle this, we should start at the earliest stage of contact we have with players. There should be diversity and equality training for scouts, coaches, managers and players to encourage a zero-tolerance policy”

The Professional Footballers’ association (PFA) has released a statement regarding the recent alleged abuse.The PFA said: “It is not acceptable for our members to find themselves subject to racist abuse, simply for showing up to work and performing for their team.”