Support for Sterling as police probe claims he was racially abused during match
Sports stars and politicians have voiced support for the Manchester City and England forward after rival fans appeared to abuse him during a game.
Sports stars, politicians and the general public have come out in support of Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling after police opened an investigation into allegations of racist abuse directed at the player during his side’s 2-0 loss at Chelsea on Saturday.
Sterling, 24, appeared to laugh off the incident in the first half at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea fans could be seen leaning over advertising hoardings and shouting at him as he collected the ball nearby.
But in an Instagram post on Sunday Sterling accused newspapers of helping to “fuel racism” and “aggressive behaviour”.
View this post on Instagram
Good morning I just want to say , I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point to heard I will speak up. 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. For example 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 news papers get there message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer. I think this in 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 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 an give all players an equal chance.
Raheem Sterling’s name was trending across the UK on Sunday as social media users and celebrities tweeted their support for the star striker.
Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright said “the bad old days are back” when sharing a video of the incident on Saturday, adding that Chelsea had been “shamed” by the fans.
Chelsea are also investigating the incident.
England cricketer Ben Stokes tweeted his support for Sterling with his name, a thumbs up and a ‘praise’ emoji.
Raheem Sterling 🙌👍— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) December 9, 2018
Commentator Guy Mowbray, a familiar voice for football fans, said Sterling “deserves the highest praise” for how he handled the incident and called the fans in the video “pathetic”.
Raheem Sterling deserves the highest praise for not responding to vile abuse today. Even if the alleged racist element goes unproven - how do grown men think that is in any way acceptable? ‘Passion’? ‘Banter’? It is pathetic. Quite simply pathetic.— Guy Mowbray (@Guymowbray) December 8, 2018
Labour MPs Bill Esterton and Alex Norris also tweeted their support for the striker after he shared his statement on Sunday.
“Raheem’s right. We need to kick racism out of football – whether it’s found in the stands or in the media,” wrote Mr Norris.
Raheem’s right. We need to kick racism out of football - whether’s it’s found in the stands or in the media. https://t.co/bH4YvRQmQk— Alex Norris (@ANorrisMP) December 9, 2018
Mr Esterton tweeted: “Excellent from @sterling7.
“It’s not surprising if the mainstream media single out and slag off young black footballers when fans scream racist abuse at black players at the match.”
Excellent from @sterling7 It’s not surprising if the mainstream media single out and slag off young black footballers when fans scream racist abuse at black players at the match. https://t.co/QqMtkD3yOu— Bill Esterson (@Bill_Esterson) December 9, 2018
And thousands of football fans voiced their support.
Arsenal fan @gunnerpunner praised Sterling’s mental strength for rising above the abuse he receives and called on other fans to “call it out and stop it”.
I honestly don’t think there’s anyone in professional football who is mentally tougher than Raheem Sterling. On the end of vile racist abuse from newspapers and fans every week and he somehow, at least publicly, rises above it. But it’s our duty to call it out and stop it.— JB™️ (@gunnerpunner) December 8, 2018
Campaign group Kick it Out have offered their support to the player following his social media comments.