Support for Sterling as police probe claims he was racially abused during match
Sports stars, politicians and the general public have come out in support of Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling after police opened an investigation into allegations of racist abuse directed at the player during his side’s 2-0 loss at Chelsea on Saturday.
Sterling, 24, appeared to laugh off the incident in the first half at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea fans could be seen leaning over advertising hoardings and shouting at him as he collected the ball nearby.
But in an Instagram post on Sunday Sterling accused newspapers of helping to “fuel racism” and “aggressive behaviour”.
Raheem Sterling’s name was trending across the UK on Sunday as social media users and celebrities tweeted their support for the star striker.
Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright said “the bad old days are back” when sharing a video of the incident on Saturday, adding that Chelsea had been “shamed” by the fans.
Chelsea are also investigating the incident.
England cricketer Ben Stokes tweeted his support for Sterling with his name, a thumbs up and a ‘praise’ emoji.
Commentator Guy Mowbray, a familiar voice for football fans, said Sterling “deserves the highest praise” for how he handled the incident and called the fans in the video “pathetic”.
Labour MPs Bill Esterton and Alex Norris also tweeted their support for the striker after he shared his statement on Sunday.
“Raheem’s right. We need to kick racism out of football – whether it’s found in the stands or in the media,” wrote Mr Norris.
Mr Esterton tweeted: “Excellent from @sterling7.
“It’s not surprising if the mainstream media single out and slag off young black footballers when fans scream racist abuse at black players at the match.”
And thousands of football fans voiced their support.
Arsenal fan @gunnerpunner praised Sterling’s mental strength for rising above the abuse he receives and called on other fans to “call it out and stop it”.
Campaign group Kick it Out have offered their support to the player following his social media comments.