Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Raheem Sterling's racism stance inspires media blackout proposal to force change – Mirror Online

Premier League stars are urged to stage an unprecedented media blackout unless there is a change in the way they are reported.

Players are being urged to support Raheem Sterling's call for a fair represen- tation after Manchester City's forward hit out at his media portrayal.

A statement from the Sports People's Think Tank (SPTT), set up to tackle black under-representation in football, read: "If action is not taken then we support the suggestion that sports people stage a media blackout. Enough is enough. "

It is understood that a media blackout would include all broadcast, digital and print media at a date as yet unspecified.

Bournemouth's Tyrone Mings has pulled out of an interview with radio station talkSPORT in protest at home by former reading striker Dave Kitson.

Sterling was abused during Man City's loss to Chelsea on Saturday

Kitson told the station Sterling had incited "jealousy" by exhibiting a lifestyle on his social media.

He added that there was no excuse whatsoever for any abuse.

But Mings hit back: "Like someone or dislike them, there is no 'but' or gray area when it comes to racism. I'm fed up of broadcasting channels who have a huge voice allowing this.

"Silence is deadly for stations and outlets who rely on viewers and listeners."

It is the first time it has been flopped since Rio Ferdinand and Jason Roberts refused to wear the Kick It Out shirt six years ago being abused.

Bournemouth Defender Mings refused to appear on talkSPORT in protest

Sterling, abused by four Chelsea fans during City's defeat at Stamford Bridge last Saturday, posted an impassioned plea for fairness on Instagram the next day. He questioned the picture painted him in some sections of the media to fans targeting him when he plays for City and England.

His comments have sparked widespread media reflection and a debate on the lack of empathy for black players because of a white, middle-class media industry.

The SPTT said, "The SPTT applaud Raheem Sterling for speaking out about the unfair treatment of black footballers in the media.

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"Our research has highlighted the paint of BAME coaches and managers in professional football, and our founding members have also helped to create a corporate governance course.

"Our strong feeling is that there is a lot of diversity in the media so has been a portrayal of BAME sports stars that have had a direct impact on how they are perceived by the general public and prospective employers. This can be particularly useful when trying to move into coaching, management or administration roles.

"We believe this is the case with a variety of media in the media, where there is a clear understanding of people from diverse communities and we call on the industry to address this with urgency."

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