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Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling called out the media in an Instagram post Sunday morning for its part in “fueling racism” following a 2-0 loss to Chelsea in which he was the target of alleged racist abuse.
The comments received praise from fans, social media users and even media members.
Sterling allegedly subject of verbal racist abuse
The England and Man City forward retrieved a ball during the first half of Saturday’s game in Chelsea when home fans leaned forward to shout obscenities, as shown in a short clip circulating around Twitter. One fan allegedly said racist remarks and though no arrests were made, one fan was accompanied away from his seat by stewards.
The Metropolitan Police and Chelsea are investigating, according to The Guardian.
Kick It Out, an anti-discrimination body, called for leaders in the sport to take a more proactive approach to dealing with racism. A Tottenham Hotspur supporter was arrested for throwing a banana skin at Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and two were arrested Saturday for racist abuse at Edinburgh.
Sterling: I don’t expect better
Sterling, 24, spoke out on Instagram in a post that received widespread praise on Twitter. In it, he said he laughed at the incident because he didn’t expect better actions.
He then accused the media of helping fuel racism by the language and approaches it uses.
He shared photos of two different stories published on The Daily Mail website this year about Man City teammates buying home for their parents.
“Look how the news papers [sic] get their message across from the young black player and then for the young white p[l]ayer. I think this is unacceptable both [are] 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,” Sterling wrote.
In the first story, The Daily Mail frames 20-year-old Tosin Adarabioyo, who is black, as making a “splash” by buying an expensive mansion despite his weekly salary and having never started a Premier League match.
In October, The Daily Mail wrote a similar story about Phil Foden, who is white, buying a house at a similar price and noting in the headline it was for his mother.
Sterling continued: “Which helps fuel racism an[d] aggressive behaviour, so for all the news papers 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 and give all players an equal chance.”
Comments receive praise from media
The Instagram post was published widely in England and received Sunday morning news attention on TV programs.
Kick it Out founder Lord Ouseley agreed with Sterling in a statement to the Guardian, saying the young star has received “bad press over the last few years because of his lifestyle” and that it feeds into the prejudice.
The Daily Mirror chief sports writer Andy Dunn called it an important step and asked for media to check its conscious and unconscious bias.
“He’s now setting the agenda and if it makes our industry be introspective of itself and examine if we could have done anything better than that’s fine,” Dunn said, per the Manchester Evening News.
The Daily Mail published excerpts from Sterling’s Instagram post, including the mention of its publications, but did not add anything further in its coverage.
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