Raheem Sterling is having a fine season for Manchester City and England on the pitch.
Off the pitch he is being just as influential.
Sterling, still just 24 years old, was the subject of alleged racist abuse from Chelsea fans (four of whom were banned) during Man City’s defeat at Stamford Bridge in December and responded by calling out certain sections of the British media for the way they report on young black players.
The England international has been speaking to the New York Times about his views on many things, including racism in the game, discrimination in the UK and his own experiences of being vilified by certain fans and media outlets.
Here is a snippet of Sterling’s thoughts on the discrimination he has received on a personal level:
“From the very start of my career, there has been a perception of a flashy kid from London: loves cars, loves the flashy lifestyle. I’m not saying I’m a saint or anything, but that is the complete opposite of who I am. These people do not know me. They will define me by what they read about me; that is how they will treat me. When people are making the public believe you are a character you aren’t, that is hurtful, and it is degrading.”