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UK: Raheem Stirling Re-ignite Racism Debate

By Published December 12, 2018

Manchester City striker, Raheem Sterling called out the UK media over double standard in reporting of footballers of colour and their Caucasian counterpart following an Instagram post where he compared side by side two similar newspaper stories with inconsistent headlines.

Stirling’s criticism is an indictment on the UK press who he accused of consciously bolstering racism in football.

However, going by the reaction in the UK media it appears they are in denial of their contribution in bringing back racism into football – not that it ever left though.

Sterling, 24, was subjected to racist abuse during City's match with Chelsea last Saturday, with a section of the Stamford Bridge support allegedly slinging racial slurs at the England international while picking up the ball near the touchline.

After identifying the Chelsea supporters who carried out the abuse, Chelsea suspended four people from attending matches. A club statement said evidence of racist behaviour will result in "severe sanctions, including bans".

"Chelsea Football Club finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour abhorrent," the statement continued, adding that the club "will also fully support any criminal prosecutions".

Social media users posted a video of an incident during which Sterling was shouted at as he collected the ball from behind the goal.

Sterling said he "had to laugh" when he heard the remarks because he expects "no better".

The Professional Footballers' Association agreed with Stirling that negative press coverage "emboldens racist rhetoric", adding the Stirling is "often singled out".

With this debate, Stirling is changing the game and rewriting the narrative. He is giving other black players their voice at calling out what most of them has had to endure in silence just so they are not picked on by the media.

Hopefully, the mainstream media that has picked up the issue will take it further by ensuring a fair and balanced report on athletes regardless of the colour of their skin.

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