Former England manager Gary Neville, revealed an incident that Raheem Sterling had back in the 2016 Euros after so much scrutiny.
The whole racial slur situation with Raheem Sterling during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester City has taken on a life of its own, Gary Neville has a direct experience with the player’s reactions to being scrutinized due to his skin color.
It was back in the 2016 European Championship in France when England got eliminated by Iceland, all the players were being targeted for criticism after such a shameful way to go but the bashing was especially personal against Raheem Sterling.
The player had enough one time and he decided to take his quarrel directly to Neville for advice, the idea was for Gary to give him a better way to cope with so much criticism but the assistant manager back then had no idea how personal things got against Raheem.
That’s exactly when Gary Neville realized the level of racism that is still very present in modern England, colored players really do have a very difficult time to coexist with the rest of the world when they represent the England National Team, even the media portrays them in a very different light compared to the rest of the players who are white and have blue eyes.
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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.
During a very revealing program for Sky Sports where the main discussion was about Raheem’s recent problems, Neville revealed that this has been going on for years now and praised Sterling for having such a strong stomach to deal with all of it.
“He came to see me one on one in 2016, I think it was three or four days before the Iceland game,” Neville said on Sky Sports.
“Pre-tournament, I don’t know if you remember, he was getting absolutely battered. Getting so much stick, we were aware of that. Fans were onto him, the media was onto him. Asking a lot of questions about him.”
“It then continued into the tournament, into the stadiums, to the point where those groans and boos, little things. It takes a lot for a player to come and see a coach. I was in the analysis room, I remember the analysts leaving.”
“He walked in and started to unload on me – why was this happening? Why was this so personally accepted? He’d accepted he’d get criticism for playing for England for his performance levels. He’d accepted he’d be scrutinized as an England player, he didn’t want any special treatment.”
“But that it was so vicious, he felt so targeted, he didn’t know what to do about it. I saw someone that has a great mentality and is tough but is also vulnerable in terms of how does he deal with it, how does he cope with it, how does he come out of it?” he added.
The most interesting part in all of this is the reaction that the player is getting inside of the pitch for both his club and country, as getting criticized so much would’ve broken anybody by now but Sterling seems to thrive when things get even more difficult for him.
The fact that he currently is considered the best English player in the world right now, speaks volumes of how impressive his character is and how much we all should appreciate having the chance to witness his career as a professional.
Raheem Sterling is arguably one of the most talented players in England’s recent history, he is paving the way for others during such challenging times and he will be recognized by the rest of the world when the time is right.
It’s always refreshing to see a player who is getting battered by criticism so much, responding to all the negativity on the pitch with amazing performances and Sterling has been doing it for years now.
Neville’s account of this specific incident from 2016 was arguably one of the most important moments in the football world this Monday, worth to analyze in its entirety.
Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher discussed the abuse of Raheem Sterling and racism in football on #MNF
— Sky Sports MNF (@SkySportsMNF) December 10, 2018
Do you think Raheem Sterling will maintain the level of performance despite all the criticism he’s been getting? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.