Ilkay Gundogan Praises Raheem Sterling After Making 'Point Clear' on Racism

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 07:  Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City celebrates scoring a goal to make the score 2-0 with Raheem Sterling during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on April 7, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has praised team-mate Raheem Sterling following his Instagram post on Sunday spotlighting racism in football.

Sterling's post came a day after he was allegedly racially abused during his team's clash with Chelsea in the Premier League. The England international contrasted articles covering white and black players and argued some newspapers "fuel racism."

The Times' Jonathan Northcroft tweeted a photo of Sterling's statement in full:

Jonathan Northcroft @JNorthcroft

Huge respect to @sterling7 for confronting this head on. The coverage he points to is institutional racism in a nutshell and overt racism - eg abuse of black players at matches - is where that insidious path leads. Yes, papers and the wider media need to do a whole lot better. https://t.co/R2KLgVGyP7

Gundogan said Sterling got his message across with the statement and commented on some criticism he received from Germany supporters after being photographed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May, per Jonathan Smith of ESPN FC:

"I think he made his point clear through Instagram, giving a statement on that. I don't know if there is any more to say about that, but this is obviously something that doesn't belong anywhere in the world, but it happens.

"We have to deal with it. It's not easy because I lived it in the summer as well. I know how that feels and it hurts. But at the end we have no other choice but to stay strong and try to go through that period and try to do our best on the football pitch. To keep being successful, that's what matters."

Gundogan was born to Turkish parents and has been booed by his own supporters when representing Germany following the photo with the Turkish president. The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder was also insulted on Facebook by a German politician after meeting with Erdogan, per the Guardian.

Chelsea have suspended four supporters pending the result of an investigation into the matter.

Gundogan is not the only footballer to back the England star, with Chelsea man Eden Hazard also making his thoughts known:

B/R Football @brfootball

Eden Hazard shows his support for Raheem Sterling https://t.co/iZN5a3v1e5

Sterling was shouted at by fans in the front row at Stamford Bridge as he retrieved the ball from the byline.

Per Sophie Williams of the Evening Standard, the supporter alleged to have racially abused Sterling—60-year-old Colin Wing—has apologised for shouting at the City player but has denied he used racist language.

A group of Chelsea fans were also heard using offensive language during the club's UEFA Europa League clash with Vidi on Thursday. The Blues issued a statement condemning anti-Semitic chanting, saying those involved have "shamed the club," per BBC Sport.

Sterling and Gundogan both played for City in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Hoffenheim in the UEFA Champions League and are available to face Everton in the Premier League on Saturday. A win for Pep Guardiola's side would take them back to the top of the table ahead of Liverpool's fixture with Manchester United on Sunday.


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