Former Arsenal star Ian Wright believes racism is behind the relentless criticism Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling has received in recent years.
Sterling netted the first goal of Manchester City’s 2018-19 season on Sunday, driving a powerful shot past Petr Cech in the Arsenal goal. It again highlighted the talent Sterling has, but he continues to be subjected to criticism.
And Wright, the former Arsenal striker who won 33 England caps, told the Monday Night Club on BBC Radio 5 live that he can only see one reason behind the treatment Raz gets.
Wright posed the question: “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.”
Many City fans have been branded ‘paranoid’ for believing in media agendas, but Wright believes there is certainly one from the ‘high end’ of the British media against Sterling.
“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.”
Pep Guardiola said following the 2-0 win over Arsenal that he hopes Sterling can stick around amid reports of a contract stand-off. The England international’s development has accelerated under the tutelage of Pep, and he found the net 23 times last season, more than double his previous best.
Manchester City have launched the 2018/19 home kit!
Pick up the Kit of Champions at the City Store!