Following the racial abuse suffered by Raheem Sterling on Saturday, ESPN pundit John Barnes believes that racism in football is indicative of a larger problem in society.
After the incident involving Sterling on Saturday, he posted on Instagram blaming the newspapers for their portrayal of black footballers, but Barnes thinks that the perception of black people in British society has to change first.
“I’d like him to expand on it,” Barnes told Sky Sports.
“To talk about the language we use when reporting on different groups.
“Until we start tackling the cause of racism, it will keep coming back. It’s nothing to do with football.
“It’s the misconception of the way we view other groups of people.
“Historically, we have been told there are certain groups of people who are more worthy, more intelligent, more morally correct then others, it has been going on for hundreds of years and it continues to be perpetuated, this is what Raheem is saying.
“The way that the media has portrayed certain groups of people – he mentioned footballers – this is what we have to change.
“We have to change the perception of what it is to be black. We have to change the perception of the average black person.
“Not of Raheem Sterling. Not of the fact that Stormzy might not get a Grammy. Not the fact that Idris Elba may not get an Oscar. Not the fact that John Barnes may not get a job as a football manager.
“We have to change the perception of the average black man in the street – until we change that perception, nothing will change.”