Blues supporter Dean admitted to being one of the fans who shouted and swore at Sterling, but insists he did not racially abuse the 24-year-old
A Chelsea fan pictured hurling insults at Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has apologised for his behaviour.
Blues supporter Dean joined talkSPORT on Monday to have his say after it was confirmed police are investigating allegations of racist abuse against the England international during Saturday’s 2-0 win over City.
Dean – “the guy on the left in the green jacket” – made it clear he was not the fan alleged to have racially abused Sterling.
However, he did admit to being one of a group of Chelsea fans who shouted and swore at the player as he came to collect the ball on the touchline for a throw-in.
Sterling only smiled at the time but later responded on social media, saying on Instagram he ‘expected no better’ at Stamford Bridge.
The events, coupled with the incident which saw a Tottenham fan arrested for throwing a banana skin at Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last week, have intensified the spotlight on the continued presence of racism in the English game.
And one of the fans at the Bridge on Saturday evening has said sorry to Sterling for his actions.
Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, Dean said: “I didn’t say anything racist, but I do admit swearing at him and calling him an embarrassment to England.
“I don’t defend it. It was a passionate game and we needed to win, but that really is no defence.
“I apologise for anything I said that was offensive. On behalf the other fans it just abhors me and I’m just really sorry.
“That language shouldn’t have come out, even what I said shouldn’t have come out.”
Listen to what Dean had to say IN FULL below…
“I never heard him say anything”
“I called Sterling an embarrassment to England”
“I wouldn’t have said anything if I heard racism. I wouldn’t know what to say”
“I apologise to Raheem Sterling”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) December 10, 2018
Speaking to talkSPORT earlier, Kick It Out campaigner Troy Townsend said racism has never gone away.
“We released our report only a couple of weeks ago and six years running we have had an increase of reports and an increase of discrimination.
Racism on the rise again
Kick It Out’s most recent annual report covers the 2017/18 season, and it showed a 22 per cent rise in reports of racism for the sixth consecutive year
Kick It Out received 520 reports for the period, up from 469 on 2016/17
53 per cent of reports concerned racism, a rise of 22 per cent from the previous year
The highest rise in reports concerned disability discrimination, which increased from 14 to 29 (107 per cent)
Ten per cent of reports concern antisemitism
Grassroots discrimation reports rose by 35 per cent across the period, with 71 per cent of reports at this level concerning racism
“Racism tops the list again; over 50 per cent of our reports are around racism.
“When you go into the grassroots area of the game it is over 70 per cent.
“That identifies as a massive problem to me, and that identifies that we still have massive amounts of work to do.
“Yes, T-shirts are great – I work for Kick It Out and it’s great to have that visibility on matchday – but we very rarely get players talk the way Raheem did, [or] when Rhian Brewster spoke about his experiences.
“It’s very rare that players talk out through their playing days – it is often left until afterwards.”