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BCOMS Statement: Raheem Sterling media treatment


Following the social media post from Manchester City and England forward, Raheem Sterling, where he expresses newspapers are helping to “fuel racism” by the ways in which they portray young black footballers – the Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) have commented:

“BCOMS stands with Raheem Sterling and thanks him for raising the issue of how the media portrays black footballers and communities across the country. We hope this serves as a wake up call not just for the newspapers, but all the media, and ask them to reassess how they treat Raheem and portray black sports men and women. 

“Just one black sports journalist was sent by the national newspapers to cover the World Cup this summer out of the 63 in Russia. Given nearly half of the England football squad was made up of BAME players this creates an uncomfortable dynamic that is very common across the industry. 

“Our unfunded network, of black sports media professionals and allies, has been active for 10 years now and in that time we have continually highlighted the lack of diversity in the sports media and its impact on how stories can be told. 

“We have organised conferences attended by hundreds of journalists and written guides on how to address a lack of diversity but the situation continues. 

“We hope Raheem has opened up a crucial discussion that leads to real actions and investment so we have an industry that is representative of our sports and country.”

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