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Nike backs Raheem Sterling with Kaepernick-style advert amid racism storm

Nike backs Raheem Sterling with Kaepernick-style advert amid racism storm
Raheem Sterling has received support from sportswear giant Nike following his criticism of elements of the written press in the UK, amid allegations the Manchester City player was racially abused by a Chelsea fan.

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.

READ MORE: 'Newspapers helping fuel racism in football': Sterling speaks out after alleged abuse at Chelsea

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.

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.

READ MORE: Abramovich 'requesting reports' on Chelsea progress with finding fans behind anti-Semitic chants

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.