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Is the English media still reeling under the traps of socially-ostracized racism?

Written by: Punit Tripathi

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Raheem Sterling was recently the victim of alleged racist chants during Manchester City's defeat at Chelsea.

Journalism can be dual-faced, and racism has time and again crept into its underbelly even after several decades of its official farewell from the international circuit. Every once in a while, actions taken by individuals/organisations gaze us into our faces and lug us into the dark, unwarranted horizons that very much exist is all spheres of modern society.

In football, certainly. From Patrice Evra’s disgruntlement after Luis Suarez’s snub during a Manchester United-Liverpool handshake prior to a Premier League affair to Kevin-Prince Boateng’s walk off with the entire AC Milan team to abandon a match clutches every individual who’s a part of the sport - in any capacity.

Raheem Sterling, on Sunday evening, was booed by a group of Chelsea supporters as the England youngster collected the ball from the edge of the audience area for a corner. Sterling, earlier the same day, had triggered a stir putting his weight around Tosin Adarabioyo in an Instagram post that included a DAILY MAIL headline that took a jibe on the 20-year-old.

 
 
 
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Good morning I just want to say , I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point to heard I will speak up. Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game as you can see by my reaction I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better. For example you have two young players starting out there careers both play for the same team, both have done the right thing. Which is buy a new house for there mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the news papers get there message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer. I think this in unacceptable both innocent have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded. This young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an aggressive behaviour, so for all the news papers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age all i have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity an give all players an equal chance.

A post shared by Raheem Sterling x ???? (@sterling7) on

Questioning the dual standards shown time and again by the English media, the former Liverpool winger also called on the players for doing what is right

“Young Manchester City footballer, 20, on £25,000 a week splashes out on mansion on market for £2.25million despite having never started a Premier League match” - read the headline and left Sterling visibly infuriated. In a long post, Sterling added that Phil Foden, another youngster with slightly better career stats than Adarabioyo, has done exactly the same, but wasn’t arraigned in media’s court of law.

Questioning the dual standards shown time and again by the English media, the former Liverpool winger also called on the players for doing what is right. Sterling wrote, “ (Which is) buy a new house for there mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the newspapers get there (their) message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer.”


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A headline in another media outlet reported Phil Foden’s new extravaganza as “Manchester City starlet Phil Foden buys new £2m home for his mum."

An aggrieved Sterling continued in the same vein. “I think this in unacceptable both innocents have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded. This young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an aggressive behaviour, so for all the newspapers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age, all I have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity and give all players an equal chance.”

The uproar has garnered huge support on social media.

Looking into statistics, Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, reveal an increase in reports for the sixth consecutive year. Racism in the game increased by a mammoth 22% in 2017, standing at 53%. Additionally, The charity received a total of 520 reports for this period, up by 11 per cent from 469 in 2016/17. Kick It Out also reported that grassroots discrimination reports rose by 35 per cent over the last year, with racism (71%) and disability (33%) being its most common forms. This is tragic and condemnable to the core.

The media, at least, can help chalk out the fatalistic practices that prevail within the world’s most loved sport. It’s in the minds, and until it leaves that house, it certainly is set to stay within you vicinity.

Published: Wed Dec 12, 2018 01:58 PM IST

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