If you were to ask me about the recent examples of racism in British football, I would be lying if I told you I was shocked. The parallels between football and society finally seem to be intersecting, however, the issues are deep-rooted and we're only scraping the surface.
Last Saturday England-footballer Raheem Sterling was a victim of racial abuse from Chelsea fans who do not fit the typical hooligan criteria, but yet again the media failed to point out the most important factor when reporting such events. That the individuals were white, and middle class. Indicating this isn't just a working class problem.
Rather than dwelling on the abuse, Sterling used his platform to point out how the UK media continue to negatively report on black footballers and – crucially – how this fuels aggressive and racist behaviour. Comparing two different headlines, one that praises a young white footballer for buying a £2 million house for his mother, with another headline that creates a polar opposite narrative for a young black player doing the same thing, suggesting that he is recklessly spending his money before he has started a premier league match.
“Both have done the right thing,” Sterling commented on his Instagram. “Which is to 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 payer. I think this is unacceptable, both innocent, have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded.”