Raheem Sterling has become the face of a new Nike social media advert after speaking out about racism.
Having suffered alleged racist abuse by a section of Chelsea supporters as he collected the ball at Stamford Bridge in the 2-0 loss last week, Sterling opened up a huge discussion about how young black players are portrayed in certain sections of the media.
In a post on his official page, Sterling said he laughed at the vitriol he received because he doesn’t expect “no better” given the endless slating he’s had in certain newspapers of the years, where it seems like he can do no right.
He posted screenshots of Daily Mail articles on City teammates Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden buying houses for their mothers and highlighting the stark contrast in how it was worded.
Sterling himself was accused of “flaunting his wealth” back when he bought his Mum a new house after Euro 2016.
The former Liverpool man told of how he believes there difference in how young black players and young white players are looked at and some newspapers thinks they are partly responsible for racism and aggressive behaviour that follows.
He ended his post pleading asking for papers to “have a second thought about fair publicity”.
Sterling went about the whole situation with a real maturity and Nike are clearly behind him, putting right at the forefront of their brand like they did with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick back in September.
The commercial, posed on the official Nike Football instagram, features a close up of Sterling as well as the slogan: “Speaking up doesn’t always make life easier. But easy never changed anything.”
Kaepernick, who has not returned to NFL since his deal with San Francisco 49ers expired, was responsible for many players kneeling during pre-match national anthems as protest against the shooting of young black men by police officers in the United States.
US president Donald Trump said the Nike ‘Just Do It’ advert sent out “a terrible message” but it performed exceptionally well for the American sportswear giant – with The Telegraph reporting they experienced an increased share price.
Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field – including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.
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