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Media to blame for targeting of black players, says Sterling

ABUSE: Raheem Sterling says the way black players are reported on by mainstream media fuels ‘racism an aggressive behaviour’

RAHEEM STERLING’S call for a more egalitarian press was met with a collective ‘hear hear’ earlier this week following the Manchester City player's assertion the disparity between the way black and white players are reported on by mainstream media fuels ‘racism an aggressive behaviour’.

In the wake of the recent visibly vile and reported racist abuse Sterling received at Chelsea where City succumbed to their first defeat of the season, the former QPR and Liverpool player took to social media to address what he saw as the root cause to vitriol spouted from the terraces.

“For example, you have two young players starting out their careers, both play for the same team, both have done the right thing. Which is buy a new house for their mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are. But look how the newspapers get their message across for the young black player and then for the young white player,” Sterling said in an unprecedented statement on Instagram.

He continued: “I think this is unacceptable – both {are} innocent {and} 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 and 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 thought about fair publicity and give all players an equal chance.”

The Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) thanked Sterling for being brave enough to speak up, an uncommon reality where current players are concerned, and added that they would like to se the paucity of diversity where sports journalists at national newspapers are concerned addressed immediately.

“BCOMS stands with Raheem Sterling and thanks him for raising the issue of how the media portrays black footballers and communities across the country. We hope this serves as a wake up call not just for the newspapers, but all the media, and ask them to reassess how they treat Raheem and portray black sports men and women.

“Just one black sports journalist was sent by the national newspapers to cover the World Cup this summer out of the 63 in Russia. Given nearly half of the England football squad was made up of BAME players this creates an uncomfortable dynamic that is very common across the industry,” a statement read.

It continued: “We have organised conferences attended by hundreds of journalists and written guides on how to address a lack of diversity but the situation continues.”

On the abuse he received at Chelsea, Sterling wrote: “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.”

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