PFA backs Sterling after alleged racist abuse

London, Dec 10 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 12/10/2018 12:05:28 PM IST

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling after he was allegedly racially abused at Chelsea, and accused the media of helping to “fuel racism” with its coverage of black footballers.

City were beaten 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and the Metropolitan Police has confirmed it is reviewing footage that shows a Chelsea fan allegedly directing racist abuse at England international Sterling.

In a post on Instagram on Sunday morning, Sterling wrote that he expects “no better” and cited a Daily Mail story from January about his teammate Tosin Adarabioyo as an example of how media coverage of young black players contributes to “why people are racist in this day and age.”

In a statement, players’ union the PFA said it “condemned in the strongest terms the increase in racial abuse our members have been receiving from the terraces.”

The statement said, “We encourage all clubs to take the strongest possible action for fans found guilty of racially abusing players. Over the past two weeks, we have seen two alleged high-profile racist incidents happen from the stands at Premier League games [a banana skin was thrown towards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during Arsenal’s game against Spurs].”

“We stress to all clubs the importance of dealing with these incidents robustly. It is not acceptable for our members to find themselves subject to racist abuse.”

Simone Pound, the PFA’s head of equality and diversity, said: “Football is a microcosm of society, and incidents such as this highlight the current political climate. Raheem has made a stand by speaking out and we stand shoulder to shoulder with him against the discrimination of which he speaks. We all have a part to play in tackling racism and discrimination, and certain sectors of the media must be held to account.” In his Instagram post, Sterling included two photographs contrasting newspaper headlines on similar stories involving black and white teammates at City - Adarabioyo and Phil Foden - who bought houses this year.

The headline on the story about Adarabioyo, who is black, focuses on how he spent £2.25 million on a house “despite having never started a Premier League match,” while that about Foden says he bought a £2m home “for his mum.”

Sterling added, “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.”

“I think this is unacceptable ... 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.”



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