I’M BLACK AND I’M PROUD’ Sterling: Walking off the pitch lets the racists win

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It came just days after Tottenham’s Danny Rose said he was looking forward to retiring from a game which has done too little to tackle the problem.

There have been calls for players to walk off the pitch if they are abused, but Sterling said he felt that would be the wrong move.

“To win the game would hurt them even more, they’re only trying to get you down.

“If you walk off they win, to score or win would be better.”

Sterling has consistently raised the issue having received abuse himself, but said he could not understand what drove people to be racially abusive.

Raheem Sterling has spoken of his despair as football is dragged into the gutter over racist abuse

He added: “It’s offensive but my mum always told me I’m a wonderful black child and I know this.

“I’m black and I’m proud, and I’m confident in my body. Some people can’t take it but my mum always told me to love myself and who I am.”

Sterling was speaking ahead of City’s Champions League clash with Tottenham, whose left-back Rose said last week he “can’t wait to see the back of the game” because of inaction on the problem.

Lancashire Police on Monday said a 20-year-old man from Sheffield had been arrested after handing himself in at Blackpool Police Station following an abusive message sent to Wigan player Nathan Byrne on Twitter on Saturday.

THREE ARRESTS MADE

A police statement said: “The man has since been released under investigation pending a charging decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).”

There was also an arrest after Derby’s 3-3 draw at Brentford, where Rams midfielder Duane Holmes was the victim of alleged abuse.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Derby manager Frank Lampard said: “(Duane’s) OK. He was upset at the time, which is understandable, but now he’s OK. It’s up to the authorities to deal with it now.

“This is not just a problem for football. It’s everywhere.”

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