‘I’m black and I’m proud’ – Manchester City man Raheem Sterling claims walking off the pitch would let the racists win

‘I’m black and I’m proud’ – Manchester City man Raheem Sterling claims walking off the pitch would let the racists win

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling declared ‘I’m black and I’m proud’ after rejecting calls for players who receive racial abuse to walk off the pitch during a game.

Sterling, 24, was speaking after football in England and Scotland was marred by shameful events last weekend, days after Tottenham defender Danny Rose said he couldn’t wait to retire from football due to the way the authorities have failed to tackle the problem.

Sterling and Rose were subject to racist abuse during England’s Euro 2020 qualifying win at Montenegro in March

There have been calls for players to walk off the pitch if they are abused but Sterling said he felt that would be the wrong move.

“I wouldn’t personally agree with it,” he said. “To win the game would hurt them even more, they’re only trying to get you down.

“If you walk off they win, to score or win would be better.”

Sterling, who has consistently raised the issue after receiving personal abuse, does not understand what drives people to be racially abusive.

“It’s offensive but my mum always told me I’m a wonderful black child and I know this,” he said.

Sterling was also allegedly racially abused during City’s Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this season

“I’m black and I’m proud, and I’m confident in my body. Some people can’t take it but my mum always told me to love myself and who I am.”

Sterling was speaking ahead of City’s Champions League clash with Tottenham, whose left-back Rose said last week he “can’t wait to see the back of the game” because of inaction on the problem.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said the issue of racism must be tackled at every level of society.

“I think it’s a very delicate situation. It’s not easy,” he said.

“It’s a very personal situation, how you feel, your emotion and how you can manage your emotion.


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“We are here trying to help everyone. It’s a thing we are, of course, fighting all together to try to stop.

“We need to stop it not only in football but in all different areas and situations.

“Danny and Sterling, we are very sorry for them, but they have the capacity, they are famous people, they have the (platform to speak out).

“How many people outside cannot say anything but only go home and cry? That is a thing that I hate and I will do everything in my power to try to stop.”

Kick It Out’s Troy Townsend calls for racists to face jail time

Lancashire Police on Monday said a 20-year-old man from Sheffield had been arrested after handing himself in at Blackpool Police Station following an abusive message sent to Wigan player Nathan Byrne on Twitter on Saturday.

“The man has since been released under investigation pending a charging decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS),” a police statement said.

There was also an arrest after Derby’s 3-3 draw at Brentford where Rams midfielder Duane Holmes was the victim of alleged abuse.

Derby player Holmes was racially abused last weekend

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Derby manager Frank Lampard said: “(Duane’s) OK. He was upset at the time, which is understandable but now he’s OK. It’s up to the authorities to deal with it now.

“This is not just a problem for football. It’s everywhere.”

Northampton said several members of their first-team squad were also allegedly abused prior to their match at Notts County.

The Professional Footballers’ Association branded the incidents over the weekend “another stark reminder of how crucial anti-racism and equality development work is across football and society”.

It said in a statement: “Racism is a societal issue but football has the opportunity to demonstrate to society that it is unacceptable.

“Everyone needs to come together to ensure swift and robust action to tackle racism, and we commend the Championship clubs involved in this weekend’s incidents for their decisive action and statements.”