Raheem Sterling has been the victim of much abuse since his move from Liverpool to Manchester City last summer. Booed by fans of clubs with no association to him, frequently scapegoated by members of the press, trolled on social media… he’s even received death threats and racist abuse. Recently, a crowdfunding campaign to fly him home from Euro 2016 was created.
The good news is that Sterling has been given a lift by incoming City boss Pep Guardiola, who has told the winger that he is a big part of City’s plans. And in a further boost, according to Monday’s newspapers Sterling is being recalled by Roy Hodgson to start for England against Iceland.
The bad news is that the vile attacks on 21-year-old Sterling continue, some more subtle than others. In their article about Sterling’s England recall, the Telegraph have included a counter that seems to have no purpose but to create more animosity towards Sterling. It tells the visitor how much money Raheem has made since they arrived on the page, citing wages of £200,000 – which, given City’s wage structure of lower basic salaries, likely isn’t even an accurate amount.
You can see a screenshot of the counter below, because with the criticism they’re receiving, it’s quite possible the Telegraph will take it down before too long. Rather than support one of the country’s most promising young players, the hate campaign against Raheem Sterling from so-called football fans and certain members of the press continues.
He may make a lot of money, more than most of us ever will, but people seem to forget that Sterling is still a human being, a very young human being too, who is conscious of these attacks. If the abuse continues, there is no telling what damage they could have on Sterling’s mental state or his football career. Let’s hope that with the support of City fans and the guidance of Pep Guardiola, Raheem can kick on next season.