Rio Ferdinand Reveals Why The Media’s Coverage Of Raheem Sterling Isn’t Racism

Rio Ferdinand Reveals Why The Media’s Coverage Of Raheem Sterling Isn’t Racism
Jun 3, 2018

England International News

Rio Ferdinand has opened up on the media’s coverage of Raheem Sterling in recent weeks, most notably following a headline about the Manchester City star’s assault-rifle tattoo.

Despite explaining the tattoo was in memory of his father, who was killed due to gun violence, questions were being asked as to whether Sterling should step down from international duty.

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The media coverage has rightly received a backlash online, with many believing the constant reporting of the 23-year-old is racially driven. However, Ferdinand believes this is not the case but instead, Sterling has been chosen as England’s scapegoat ahead of another major tournament.

Speaking at the BBC’s World Cup launch, via Football365, the former Manchester United defender said: “There’s always going to be one scapegoat and people then abuse him. What I love about Raheem is that he has thick skin. He’s a hard worker. He’s someone who wants to do well and he’s a learner.”

“I think we’ve seen that this year. He has been educated by Pep Guardiola, he has taken it all on board and we’re seeing the player we all believed he could be. He had more talent and more ability and he’s being pushed and coached in the right way and he’s flourishing.”

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“Can we see that in an England shirt? Is the team going to be set up for the attacking players to flourish? We’ve had problems, different players not doing that. John Barnes was one. Chris Waddle also got stick for stuff like that.”

“I think in my era Michael Owen and Becks are probably the only players who did as well, if not better, in an England shirt than they did in their club team.”

And Ferdinand believes the coverage isn’t race-motivated because of the coverage that former England players also received: “No because Becks had it once. Phil Neville had it after that, I wouldn’t put that down to colour.”

“I think some people are just picked. Something happens in a tournament and it just triggers people into saying, ‘He’s the guy’. With Raheem, his stats and his game this year speak for themselves.”

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