Sometime in December last year, Manchester City and England winger Raheem Sterling accused newspapers of ‘fuelling racism’ with their portrayal of young black players. Sterling highlighted the disparity in coverage between teammates Phil Foden and Tosin Adarabioyo, when both players had each bought their mothers houses.
His Instagram post showed a headline referring to Tosin Adarabioyo buying a house for £2.25m "despite having never started a Premier League match". It was posted alongside an article describing how Phil Foden had bought "a £2m home for his mum" and "set up a future".
The post on his Instagram account had been sparked by events at Chelsea the previous week, where Sterling appeared to be the target of alleged racial abuse by opposing fans at Stamford Bridge in Manchester City's defeat at Chelsea last December.
Defending Sterling, France's and Manchester United's midfielder Paul Pogba has stated that he believes that Sterling is sometimes treated differently by the British media because he is black and as such is denied the recognition he deserves for his achievements.
Speaking ahead of France’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Moldova on Friday, Pogba also said Sterling was unfairly criticised for what he does off the field.
‘Sometimes it happens,’ Pogba told Sky Sports when asked whether the media treated Sterling differently because of the colour of his skin. Pogba added:
What I’ve been seeing is he’s been criticised for houses and other things I’ve been hearing about, but nobody talks about what he’s been doing on the pitch.He has ridiculous stats, he’s scored goals and made a hat-trick not long ago. He’s been top with City. Maybe if he was somebody else, it would be different. I always say racism in football shouldn’t happen, because football is a sport, a beautiful sport and makes people happy. When somebody is doing a great job, he should deserve the same reward as somebody else who does the same job."
Sterling, who has 21 goals for Manchester City in all competitions this season, was also supported by England team-mate Danny Rose. Manchester City is still on course for an unprecedented quadruple this season. Speaking to BBC Sports ahead of England's Euro qualifier against Czech Republic, Rose said:
Raheem was only saying what we all say in the dressing room. It’s sad really but he’s 100 percent spot on with what he said. The stick he used to get from the media was bang out of order. When he put the (Instagram) post up about the media, we were all over the moon with that because we all agree. Fair play to Raheem."
Photo Credit: Sky Sports