Raheem Sterling Instagram post was watershed moment for football, says Darren Lewis
Last Updated: 12/12/18 10:29am
Raheem Sterling's Instagram post is a watershed moment for football, says Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.
The Manchester City forward has been commended for his response to Saturday's alleged incident of racial abuse by Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge.
"I've done my job for 18 years and in that time we keep having moments like this where we say racism has no place in football, we stand by x, y and z, we will launch an enquiry, we will hit them with the toughest penalties," Lewis told a special edition of The Debate.
"There is always this collective weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, then the games start again, and it moves on.
"Then the next time it happens we do the same thing. It's almost like we are in a holding pattern, there is never any substantive change.
"The reason I think this is indeed a watershed moment is because in the past black players wouldn't speak out. Why? Because they thought they would be ostracised and marginalised.
"But now the black players are realising, like they do in America, that they can use their profile - Raheem Sterling has probably got more social followers than maybe some national newspapers.
"A lot of players are realising that they do have that power and ability to say 'no, I'm not standing for it anymore, I'm going to make a stand'.
"And what we've seen in last couple of days is a massive ground of support for them."
The four Chelsea supporters alleged to have abused Sterling have been suspended from attending games pending further investigation.
Colin Wing, from Beckenham, who was caught on camera shouting at the Manchester City player when he retrieved the ball from behind the goalline, admitted his behaviour was "completely out of order" but claimed he directed the word 'Manc' and not 'black' at Sterling.
While the investigations are ongoing, attention has turned to how the footballing world will address the issue of racism in the game.
"This isn't something that is going to be solved by the FA, this is a whole-game solution that we are looking for," Lewis added.
"It is going to be solved by us looking at ourselves in the media, having more diversity in the media, fans looking at themselves and checking their behaviour and broadcasters.
"There is just hand-wringing at the moment, we don't have any substantive plan for going forward, that's why the issue of race we keep going around in circles."