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Football news - Raheem Sterling abuse: 'Elements of the media are racist,' says Winter

Sterling abuse: 'Elements of the media are racist,' says Winter
By Eurosport

12/12/2018 at 00:18Updated 12/12/2018 at 01:18

After he was allegedly subjected to racist abuse, Raheem Sterling took to social media to call out the treatment young black men receive from the press.


Sterling was allegedly subjected to racist abuse during Manchester City’s Premier League match at Chelsea on Saturday.

City and England forward Sterling suffered a barrage of insults from home supporters at Stamford Bridge, some of which were allegedly racist in nature.

This is not the first time Sterling has been subject to abuse, with a man jailed in December of last year for a racist attack on the City forward.


The 24-year-old took to social media on Sunday morning to denounce the coverage of young black players in the media, and the ramifications of said coverage.


Sterling’s post sparked heated debate on social media, with Henry Winter of the Times posting that he felt Sterling was unfairly targeted because he is black.


Winter, one of the UK’s most high-profile sports journalists, followed up his social media postings on Sunday with a more in-depth written piece in Monday’s Times.

" He can’t win. Whereas some white players down the years are forgiven for their excesses as loveable rogues, Sterling receives the “Obscene Raheem” opprobrium. The media really needs to look at itself at times and it was encouraging to hear some contrition from concerned parties after Sterling’s powerful calling out of the media yesterday... I love this flawed profession, and English sports reporters have consistently supported organisations such as Kick It Out, staged sit-ins in the foyer at Atletico Madrid (last year) when the club refused entry to a black journalist, campaigned against the banana throwers, but elements of the media are racist. Front end of the book, news pages, online, clickbait, etc, etc, but ultimately we are all responsible. The media game needs to change."

Winter added that it was an “indisputable fact” that some in society had a problem with wealthy black footballers.


“What happened at Chelsea shows what is still going on in football,” said Ouseley in a statement.

“Where is (Premier League executive chairman) Richard Scudamore? Where is (Football Association chairman) Greg Clarke? Where is Chelsea’s chairman (Bruce Buck)?

“They should have been talking out last night and it has to (be) dealt with at the top.

" We do not have any leadership at the top of the game to speak out, they rely on Kick it Out."


"We take allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and will work with the clubs and the relevant authorities to ensure this matter is dealt with appropriately," the FA said.


The PFA condemn, in the strongest terms, the increase in racial abuse our members have been receiving from the terraces. 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. 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, simply for showing up to work and performing for their team.

This weekend, following the video footage appearing to show a fan shouting racist abuse at Raheem Sterling, we have been in close contact with his agent, and extend our full support to Raheem.

We commend Raheem for his professionalism during the incident and the statement he made via Instagram on Sunday. We stand with him in calling for the press to consider the coverage of all footballers carefully, and to end their imbalanced coverage aimed at young, black players.

We have been aware for a few months of the targeting Raheem faces in the press, it is evident that he is often singled out and treated more harshly than his colleagues. As such, these stories are fuelling racism within the game, as reports of racist abuse continue to rise.

In November, anti-discrimination charity – and PFA funded partner - Kick It Out released figures that showed reports of discriminatory abuse within football were up 11% last season (2017/18), the sixth successive annual rise. Of the 520 reported incidents, 53% were racism related - a 22% increase from the previous season

While it may be true that no racial slurs have been used in the press coverage received by Raheem and others, we are in no doubt that the negative narrative influences public opinion and emboldens racist rhetoric.

Simone Pound, PFA 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.

The PFA are resolute in their work, challenging and tackling equality issues on behalf of the players.”

Fighting racism and discrimination has been a top priority for the PFA for the past 40 years. We are proud of the historical work we have done tackling racism on the terraces. In working with Kick It Out and Show Racism The Red Card, we have made significant progress to ensure racism is no longer accepted as part of the match experience.

Our Equality and Diversity workshops will continue to be delivered to players and clubs across the country, these interactive sessions outline to players how to report discriminatory incidents on and off the field.

It is our firm belief that football can be a force for good in promoting unity, regardless of perceived differences. We hope that Raheem’s strength in speaking out will refocus efforts on tackling racism for all football organisations.

If any player has been subject to discriminatory abuse, please contact our Equality & Diversity department on: 0207 236 5148


Reports on Monday emerged that Sterling has told police he was racially abused at Stamford Bridge.

Metropolitan police officers have travelled to Manchester to investigate claims of racism after Sterling reportedly told Manchester City security staff straight after the match he had heard a racist remark.

No arrests have been made, despite Chelsea working closely with police to identify the individual via CCTV footage and TV pictures from BT Sport.

With additional reporting from Reuters