Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright believes that part of Raheem Sterling’s criticism is due to racism. The Manchester City forward has been criticised on social media because of some pretty unusual issues. These include the tattoo of a rifle on his leg, purchasing clothes from Primark and buying his mother a house. The 23-year old also received criticism for his performances in the World Cup this summer.
Wright said, “How many people do you see get the criticism Sterling gets? The football criticism is something every player has to deal with, but what he gets I don’t see any other footballer getting. They don’t get that stick because for whatever reason they don’t rub up the people in the corridors of power the wrong way. I think there is an agenda against him.
There is an element of people at high end of the media who want to keep that guy down. Simple. When you look at the wave of criticism that he takes, there is a certain amount of racism towards it – what else can it be? They are picking on him because of the the background he has come from and they want to keep him down, drag him back down. They don’t want him to continue to be a success. People say you are playing the racism card, but you give me a good reason why Raheem Sterling gets the stick he gets for just being a footballer.”
Sterling said earlier that he doesn’t bother about people picking on him on social media. Former Chelsea player Chris Sutton opined that some of the social media criticism affected his performances at the World Cup in Russia. Sutton said, “I think the outside stuff did affect his World Cup performances. I don’t understand it because last season for City he really matured into a top player. He was one of the reason why they were so devastating. There seems to be an element of people in this country who delight in kicking him and I don’t get it.”