Arsenal hero Ian Wright reacted angrily to the news former Premier League forward Dave Kitson has put together a plan to become the new chief of the Professional Footballers’ Association but he has received widespread criticism
Speaking in December 2018 regarding the abuse Sterling received from Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge, he said the Man City player had brought the abuse on himself.
“I do believe that players make themselves a target. Why Raheem Sterling? There are other black players on the pitch, every single week.
“I just think that we have a duty of care to ourselves as footballers, to be a little bit careful with social media, and the way we portray ourselves.
“Jealousy is an awful thing amongst the human race.
Look at this rubbish. Same person now running to lead the PFA!!!! How can the PFA claim to take racism seriously when this is a candidate's views?? https://t.co/Pe2ZMemMPx
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) May 1, 2020
“I trawled through Raheem Sterling’s Instagram feed this morning to find that a lot of what he put on in his early days has now been deleted, and it was, ‘look at my cars, look at my house, look at this bathroom, look at this, look at that, look at me.’ And that’s going to antagonise people.
“Now that is no excuse whatsoever for racially abusing somebody, but you sow a seed amongst people who are not racist, not to like that particular person, because they don’t want to see that in their faces every day.
“Now, when you go on to Raheem Sterling’s Instagram it’s ‘here’s a goal I scored last week, here’s me in a kids hospital.’ So someone’s got hold of him and said, ‘look, you can’t do that anymore. But that seed has already been planted in people’s heads.”
Immediately after those comments were made, Tyrone Mings, who was due to appear on the show, announced he would refuse to speak to the radio station.
Kitson had also posted a picture on Instragram of a black man working at Tesco with the comment: “Breaking news: Danny Welbeck completes his move to my local Tesco.” And another surrounded by two luxury sports cars with the caption ‘starting to get bored’.
Former England and Sunderland player Michael Gray tweeted: “Dave Kitson…. chief executive..no thanks..!”
Gary Neville liked and retweeted the comment to show his approval of what Gray said.
Former Blackburn winger Steven Reid, now assistant coach at Scotland, also made his feelings known.