Raheem Sterling Wants Clubs To Receive 'Automatic Nine-Point Deduction' For Racist Abuse
Raheem Sterling believes that harsher punishments should be handed out to clubs if their fans racially abuse footballers.
Writing an opinion piece for the Times, the Manchester City ace wants drastic measures to be taken in the sport and has called for a nine-point deduction for any racial abuse received from a club's set of fans.
"I don't think generally that walking off is a great solution, but players should not be punished for it," he said.
"Punishments need to be harsher and money just doesn't hurt the rich clubs or football associations. So I would call for an automatic nine-point deduction for racist abuse.
"It sounds harsh but which fan will risk racist behaviour if it might relegate their team or ruin their title bid?
"As well as that, the club should have to play three games behind closed doors. That way, they lose revenue as a direct consequence of racist behaviour."
The 24-year-old English winger, who has been targeted with abuse in the past and has been a vocal figure on the issue, also suggested that the battle against racism is off the pitch.
According to Sterling, more clubs and football governing bodies should appoint people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background to improve diversity in the sport.
"The aim should be for that number to be the same percentage as players on the pitch," he explained.
"For example, black players make up about 25 to 30 per cent of teams in the top four divisions, so that should be mirrored with coaches (it is now about four per cent) and in boardrooms (0.5 per cent).
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"By doing that, there will be people looking out for black players and holding anyone to account who acts in a racist way. It also sends black players the message that they can go on to have a career in the game after they retire."
The PFA Players' Player of the Year nominee also added that he wasn't angry at the racism directed towards him on the pitch, but rather he was "massively disappointed."
"It's crazy that it happens," he continued. "I normally don't let it get to me but, on the rare occasions it does, like when a guy kicked me and insulted my mum and my daughter, I try to take my frustration out on the pitch.
"The game after that happened I used my anger to score twice against Tottenham Hotspur. And it's sad because being black does not make me a minority.
"I am just a person trying to live my life without being abused."
Last week, footballers across England and Wales boycotted social media for 24 hours as part of the PFA's campaign to tackle racism.
Agree or disagree with Sterling's call for a nine-point deduction?
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Featured Image Credit: PA
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