Sterling hits out against racism in football

Tide of hate: Raheem Sterling accused newspapers of helping to “fuel racism and aggressive behaviour”.

Is racism in football getting worse? Manchester City player Raheem Sterling believes that unfair coverage about black players in the media is encouraging racist abuse in the game.

What’s happening

Raheem Sterling, who plays for Manchester City and England, says that British newspapers are fuelling racism with stories that treat black players negatively. Just days earlier, a Chelsea fan allegedly shouted racist abuse at Sterling. Now, some are wondering if racism in the sport is getting worse.

Find out more

Aged 24, Sterling has already played in a World Cup semi-final and won the Premier League. However, he has not had an easy relationship with the media.

According to ex-player Stan Collymore, newspaper articles suggest young black footballers like Sterling are “greedy and thick”, while white players like Manchester City’s Phil Foden are treated like heroes. Collymore says these stories make racist incidents more common.

During the 1970s, racism was a severe problem in football. For years, groups like Kick It Out seemed to make progress in defeating racism, but now there is doubt.

“We’re going backwards and not forwards,” claims former Tottenham player Jermaine Jenas. “We should all be ashamed.”

Is racism in football getting worse?

Some say…

The situation is getting really bad. There have been several high-profile racist incidents at matches in the last few weeks, which saw a Tottenham fan arrested. This disgraceful behaviour is encouraged by unfair newspaper stories about black players. We must listen to young footballers like Sterling who are speaking out and take real action.

Others think…

We have made a lot of good progress. Football clubs have a zero-tolerance approach and quickly report racism to the police. The widespread anger about recent racist attacks shows that most people are horrified by it. There is still work to be done, as Raheem Sterling has shown, but racism is less accepted than ever.

You Decide

  1. What is the best way to stop racism?


  1. What does the word “racism” mean? Write down what you think and then talk about it as a class.

Some People Say...

“My generation was pacified into believing that racism existed only in our history books.”

Chance the Rapper

What do you think?

Word Watch

Giving power to; making something more intense.
In a bad way.
Used when someone has not yet been found guilty of a crime.
The newspapers and websites that tell the public about what is happening in the world.
Very bad.
A small group of; more than two.
When anger and worry are calmed by something.


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