Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright has labelled the English Tabloid Press’ treatment of Manchester City and Three Lions attacker Raheem Sterling as racist.
While 23-year-old Sterling definitely has some weaknesses in his game that deserve to be questioned, however off the pitch the youngster has been on the end of some pretty vile hatchet jobs by many of the leading tabloid publications in England over recent years.
It doesn’t take much intelligence to see that Sterling has been singled out by many in the press, who seem hellbent on turning much of the public – who are sadly not smart enough to see it for what it is – against him for simply being a wealthy young footballer.
So badly has this disgraceful form of reporting affected the public perception of Sterling, that he was racially abused and kicked by a complete stranger before a Manchester City game last season.
Wright believes that there is an agenda within the media against Sterling because of his race and background.
“How many people do you see get the criticism Sterling gets?” Wright said on BBC Radio 5 live’s Monday Night Club.
“The football criticism is something every player has to deal with, but what he gets I don’t see any other footballer getting.
“They don’t get that stick because for whatever reason they don’t rub up the people in the corridors of power the wrong way. I think there is an agenda against him.
“There is an element of people at high end of the media who want to keep that guy down. Simple.
“When you look at the wave of criticism that he takes, there is a certain amount of racism towards it – what else can it be?
“They are picking on him because of the background he has come from and they want to keep him down, drag him back down. They don’t want him to continue to be a success.
“People say you are playing the racism card, but you give me a good reason why Raheem Sterling gets the stick he gets for just being a footballer.”