Raheem Sterling has got everyone talking about the important issue of racism in football following his powerful Instagram post last weekend.
The 24-year-old, who appeared to be racially abused during Manchester City’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge, pointed the finger at the media and how they’ve treated him in recent years.
In a post which quickly went viral, Sterling wrote: “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.”
Sterling’s post prompted a fascinating discussion between Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher on Monday Night Football earlier this week.
A host of other pundits have also had their say, with almost all of them conceding that more needs to be done to combat racism in football - as well as society, in general.
Sterling, who has been in red-hot form for City this season, was named on the subs’ bench against Everton on Saturday afternoon but entered the fray in the 66th minute for Leroy Sane.
Three minutes later and Sterling had netted his ninth league goal of the season, heading in Fernandinho’s cross.
However, the Sky commentator’s reaction to his goal angered some viewers, who swiftly took to social media to express their disappointment.
“Well, after the week he’s had, that just about represents the perfect moment for Raheem Sterling who does what he does best: answers his critics on the pitch.”
It was those three words towards the end of the sentence ‘answer his critics’ which led to the following tweets…
They’ve certainly all made a valid point.
Critics and racists are two very different types of people and shouldn’t be confused.
In fairness to the commentator in question, you can understand what he was trying to say - but it did come across as rather clumsy.
Commentating on live TV must be extremely difficult and the commentator would not have meant to cause any sort of offence.
But, again, it raises further questions about how the media deal with racism in football - and how coverage can improve.