Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has claimed that racism has become normal again in football.
The 25-year-old England international has been in fine form for City this season scoring 20 goals in all competitions including 11 in the Premier League and 5 in the UEFA Champions League.
However, speaking in an interview with AS about racism in football Sterling raised his concerns about a huge issue affecting the game off the pitch at the moment.
“Yes, today this (racism) is one of those things that becomes normal,” he said.
“It is frequent now to see a player walk off the pitch by himself. It’s sad to see but it´s one of those things that I don’t think is taken quite seriously enough.
“People say that it is taken seriously but you can see month after month, it’s the same on everywhere.
“I think that if it was other subjects or people commenting on other people’s sexualities, I think it would be taken a lot more seriously than talking about someone’s skin colour.”
There have been several cases of racism reported by players across Europe’s football leagues, including Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea in the Premier League, Inaki Williams of Athletic Bilbao in La Liga and more recent reports of abuse by Moussa Marega of FC Porto who walked off the pitch in the Portuguese league game against Vitoria de Guimaraes.
Racism has been on the rise in football as per a report in the Guardian, which states that there have been more than 150 football-related racism claims registered with the police last season, showing a 50% increase since the year before.
Sterling was vocal about racism in football and continues to campaign against the issue showing a strong commitment to the cause.