Raheem Sterling - more than just a footballer?
I know I said I wouldn’t be back blogging until this weekend however, I couldn’t help myself after reading Raheem Sterling’s article in The Times this morning. I needed to blog about this lol! Sterling starts off his article with the following words:
Those words really hit me hard because it absolutely is crazy. It’s mental that growing up, where society wasn’t as progressive as it is today, wasn’t focused on rights and equality as it today, Sterling didn’t suffer from racist abuse yet today he is subjected to it pretty much all the time, both on the pitch and off it. I’ve entitled this piece with the question is Sterling ‘more than just a footballer?’ because I genuinely believe he is more than that. Yes I know that being a footballer isn’t just being a footballer, you are caught up in so many different politics when you decide for this to be your career, but I think Sterling has gone above and beyond and I applaud him for this. For so long I have constantly seen Sterling being racially attacked in the media, it may not be as explicit as calling him by racial slurs, but the fact that certain newspapers literally watch and report his every move with so much criticism and other white footballers, who have a similar behaviour pattern to Sterling, are not treated the same by these papers, it is a racial attack. Sterling is subjected to so much racial abuse and he could sit back and not say anything but he doesn’t. He speaks up, and this is why he’s more than just a footballer. A lot of people tend to take the silent route these days, especially when they’re in the public eye, and as much as I can kind of understand that, I don’t think its acceptable. We can’t just sit around and let people say what they want because of our skin tone.
Like Sterling said, a radical change is needed in football. Going out playing the game you love and then receiving racial abuse afterwards is not IT and never will be it. I feel like Sterling has done a lot when calling for these radical changes. His posts on social media are definitely significant in making these changes because more people are starting to talk about it. I’m not saying no one ever spoke about racial abuse before, but a lot of people would keep quiet. They would try to ignore it. But Sterling isn’t letting you ignore this and I have to thank him for that. My youngest brother plays football and I do think sometimes ‘will this be his experience too?’ and I really hope not because he plays football because he loves and enjoys it. How disheartening must it be for something you love to be destroyed because of racism in big big 2019. Sterling is right, the next generation shouldn’t have to put up with this evil. It’s bad enough that this generation of black players have to, but it needs to end. I applaud Sterling for working and writing for The Times and explaining that the abuse we see and hear about is only the tip of the iceberg and that more Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people need to be in senior positions of power within football.
Racism in football, in general, is no where near sorted but we need more people like Raheem Sterling. We need more people to go above and beyond the constraints of their job to bring around a much needed change to society. Fines that players receive literally do nothing, to them it is nothing and we need more to be done. It is great that The Times have started this manifesto but we need the people in football doing this because really and truly, what can The Times do for an industry they don’t belong in?
Carry on calling people out, regardless of how much power they have!!! Take a leaf from Sterling’s book. Sterling CONTINUES to support those who suffer from racial abuse and I hope we all can continue to support Sterling in his career and what he does off the pitch to help change a game we all love so much.