Nike backs Raheem Sterling with Kaepernick-style advert amid racism storm
Sterling accused sections in the national press of helping "fuel racism and aggressive behavior" by allegedly taking a different approach to covering the private lives of black players compared to their white counterparts.
Sterling called out elements of the press, highlighting two articles to support his case, after he was on the receiving end of abuse from Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge that prompted the London club to suspend four supporters.
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Good morning I just want to say , I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point to heard I will speak up. Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game as you can see by my reaction I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better. For example you have two young players starting out there careers both play for the same team, both have done the right thing. Which is buy a new house for there mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the news papers get there message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer. I think this in unacceptable both innocent have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded. This young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an aggressive behaviour, so for all the news papers 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 give all players an equal chance.
And now Nike, the sportswear company that counts Sterling among its roster of athletes, has lent its support to the Manchester City ace with the release of an advertisement along similar lines to those featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The ad posted on the Nike Football Instagram account to its 36 million followers features Sterling with the slogan: "Speaking up doesn't always make life easier. But easy never changed anything."
Nike's Kaepernick campaign saw the sportswear company back the NFL star, who began the 'take a knee' protests during the American national anthem before games.
Kaepernick has been without a team since formally leaving the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017, but the kneeling protest against racism continues to drive conversation in the game to this day.
Kaepernick has since filed a grievance against the NFL, accusing team owners of colluding to keep him out of the league. The case will be heard via a trial after arbitrators threw out the NFL's motion to dismiss it.
Nike backed its man with its ad campaign, and now it seems it is following the same approach with Sterling, who has been targeted by elements of the press and fanbase in recent years.