Raheem Sterling accuses newspapers of ‘fuelling racism’ after alleged abuse at Chelsea

Guardian sport
The Guardian

Raheem Sterling has accused newspapers of “fuelling racism” and said he “expects no better” after he was the subject of alleged racist abuse while playing for Manchester City against Chelsea on Saturday.

Chelsea and the Metropolitan police have launched investigations after footage of a fan allegedly aiming racist abuse at the forward was circulated online.

“Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game, as you can see by my reaction, I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better,” Sterling wrote in a post on Instagram.

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He also screengrabbed a Daily Mail story about Tosin Adarabioyo, with a headline saying: “Young Manchester City footballer, 20, on £25,000 a week splashes out on mansion on market for £2.25million despite having never started a Premier League match”. in his post Sterling appeared to reference another story in the newspaper from October about the Manchester City player Phil Foden buying a house, which had a headline saying “Foden buys new £2m home for his mum”.

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 who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the newspapers get there message across for the young black player and the young white player. I think this i[s] unacceptable both innocent have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded. The young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an[d] 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[d] give all players an equal chance.”

The alleged racist abuse took place in the first half of Chelsea’s 2-0 Premier League win over Manchester City as Sterling went to pick up the ball in front of the Matthew Harding Stand. Chelsea issued a statement pledging to “investigate the matter and take the strongest possible action where necessary”.

The Met said no arrests had been made, but added: “We are aware of a video circulating online in which it is claimed racial abuse was allegedly directed at a player … We will review the footage to determine whether any offences have been committed.”

The incident prompted widespread condemnation online, with the former Crystal Palace and Arsenal striker Ian Wright tweeting: “The bad old days are back.”

The anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out called it “yet another great day of football damaged by prejudice … We’ve received reports from a variety of sources about an incident of alleged racist abuse … we will forward those to Chelsea and offer our support in their investigation.”

In a separate incident, two people have been arrested for allegedly directing racial abuse at the Motherwell substitute Christian Mbulu during his side’s defeat 1-0 at Hearts on Saturday. Police Scotland say they have been given footage which shows around 20 fans at Tynecastle shouting comments at the 22-year-old as he warmed up.

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