Manchester City's Raheem Sterling has called for UK media outlets to reconsider their coverage of young black players to help deter racism in football.
Sterling, 24, had been the subject of alleged racial abuse during City's match with Chelsea on Saturday, with a section of the Stamford Bridge support allegedly slinging racial slurs at the England man while he was near the touchline.
And while Chelsea, along with the Metropolitan Police, are conducting investigations, Sterling has taken to social media, using a Mail Online screenshot for context, to call for media outlets to take a moment before publishing something relating to young black players that could lead to the propagation of hate speech.
“Good morning,” the England forward posted on Instagram. “I just want to say I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point to be 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 their careers both playing for the same team. Both have done the right thing, which is buy a new house for their mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are.
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.
“But look how the newspapers get their message across for the young black player then for the young white player. I think this is unacceptable.
“Both are innocent, have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it is worded the young black kid is looked at in a bad light which helps fuel racism and 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.”
Chelsea are no strangers at having to answer for the poor behaviour of their fans, with the club having called for an end to an anti-Semitic chant 2017 and saw two fans given suspended prison sentences in 2015 for consistently pushing a black man away from the doors of a Paris Metro train as he tried to board.
The London club do, however, have a strong history of opposing racism, winning awards for their Say No To Anti-Semitism campaign alongside working closely with Kick It Out, the UK-based charity founded to tackle discrimination in football.