Raheem Sterling Says Racism in Football Is 'Nowhere Near Being Sorted'

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistApril 23, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at at Etihad Stadium on April 17, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has said racism in football is "nowhere near being sorted" and that those in charge of the sport aren't doing enough to tackle the issue.

Sterling, 24, is supporting a campaign to promote black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in positions of power. He wrote for The Times (h/t Independent) on his belief that football is way behind in its battle to root out racism:

"When I was a boy growing up in London, going to school and playing football, I didn't know what racist abuse was because I never suffered any.

"So it seems crazy that, in 2019, I feel the need to write a piece in a newspaper calling for radical changes to the game that I love. But I do because the racism problem in football is so bad, runs so deep and is nowhere near being sorted."

He added: "In my opinion, the people who run the game are doing nowhere near enough to solve the problem. And that's not good enough."

Sterling has been increasingly outspoken on racism in recent months. An Instagram post in December referred to alleged racist abuse he suffered in a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea and also criticised media coverage of black players.

Sterling has called for stricter action against clubs that don't punish culpable fans accordingly. Journalist Sam Cunningham agreed docking points was a potential solution to the problem:

The City superstar—who has 23 goals and 16 assists this season—also wants sponsors to pull funding from governing bodies that fail to respond appropriately to racism.

Sterling was one of a number of players racially abused in England's 5-1 away victory against Montenegro in March. He referred to that incident and the abuse suffered by Juventus forward Moise Kean in an away game at Cagliari in Italy's Serie A as other notable examples of racism in football.

Sterling has earned widespread praise for his willingness to speak out against racism and other acts away from football:

Tottenham Hotspur defender Danny Rose said in early April he's "had enough" of football and "can't wait to see the back of it" because of racism in the sport, per the Guardian's David Hytner.

Former Liverpool and England forward John Barnes has spoken of racism as an issue that needs addressing with a wider scope, via BBC North West:

Sterling concluded: "I don't know how long it will take for things to change but we have to start now. I don't want the next generation of black players to have to put up with this evil."

He recently urged players to call out racism when they hear it but added that he doesn't believe teams should walk off the pitch in response to racial abuse.

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