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  1. ITV Report

Raheem Sterling: Newspapers help 'fuel racism' with portrayals of young black players

Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger, left, and Manchester City's Raheem Sterling compete for the ball. Credit: AP

Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling has accused newspapers of fueling racism with their portrayals of young black players.

In an Instagram post, the forward referred to alleged racist abuse directed at him from a supporter during his team's match against Chelsea on Saturday, saying "I just had to laugh because I don't expect no better".

Chelsea and the Metropolitan Police have said they are investigating the incident.

Posting a screenshot of two news articles from the same newspaper, Sterling highlighted the different coverage given to two of his young Manchester City team mates when they bought houses.

One, about Tosin Adarabioyo, has a headline focusing on the fact he bought a multi-million pound house despite never having started in the Premier League.

Raheem Sterling's Instagram post Credit: Instagram/Raheem Sterling

The other, about Phil Foden, has the headline "Manchester City starlet Phil Foden buys new £2 million home for his mum".

Sterling wrote that both young players had done the right thing, buying houses for their mums, but points at the different way the black and the white player are portrayed.

He claims way young black players are written about in the media "helps fuel racism and aggressive behaviour".

He finished the post with: "So for all the newspapers that don't understand why people are racist in this day and age all I have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity an(d) give all players an equal chance."

A host of sports stars and pundits have come out in support of Sterling's statement.

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Regarding the Saturday incident, a Chelsea spokesman said: "We're aware of reports and video footage. We will investigate the matter and take the strongest possible action where necessary."

The Met Police said: "We are aware of a video circulating online in which it is claimed racial abuse was allegedly directed at a player at a Chelsea v Manchester City game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, December 8.

"We will review the footage to determine whether any offences have been committed."

No arrests have been made, the Met added.

Chelsea are seeking to establish the facts of the incident.

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling. Credit: AP

Should any offence have been made, a life ban could be handed to the supporter or supporters responsible.

Anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out later issued a statement, which read: "We've received reports from a variety of sources about an incident of alleged racist abuse at the Chelsea-Manchester City game.

"We will forward those to Chelsea and offer our support in their investigation.

"Yet another great day of football damaged by prejudice."