‘He’s not in the wrong for me’: Raheem Sterling stands by Man City team-mate Bernardo Silva in wake of racism storm… but insists midfielder is ‘deeply sorry’ for his tweet to friend Benjamin Mendy
- Raheem Sterling has spoken out on Bernardo Silva’s tweet to Benjamin Mendy
- Bernardo likened Mendy to a chocolate-covered peanut confectionery mascot
- Pep Guardiola has already come out in defence of the Portugal playmaker
- Sterling stresses that Bernardo did not refer to Mendy’s skin colour in the post
Raheem Sterling has come to the defence of team-mate Bernardo Silva following his recent controversial social media post about Benjamin Mendy, which has faced heavy accusations of racism.
Bernardo made headlines in the last week after comparing Frenchman Mendy to the confectionery mascot of Conguitos, a popular chocolate-covered peanuts snack in Spain.
City manager Pep Guardiola had already come out in defence of Bernardo and stressed his intentions of joking with Mendy, and now Sterling has offered his take by insisting the midfielder did not refer to skin colour.
Raheem Sterling has spoken out on team-mate Bernardo Silva’s tweet to Benjamin Mendy
‘I thought the situation is between two friends. I can see the point about some people getting touchy feely on it but I feel in that situation Bernardo made a joke to a friend,’ said Sterling following Manchester City’s 3-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.
‘He’s not referred to his skin colour. He’s not referred to his lips. In both pictures they’ve both got small heads and most importantly for me he didn’t refer to a colour.
‘We all know and everyone can see Mendy is a black lad. We’ve got to be proud to be black too.
Bernardo and Mendy are good friends and were seen chatting on the bench at Goodison
The Portuguese midfielder faced angry backlash after posting this image on Twitter on Sunday
Mendy took it well but Bernardo has since faced accusations of racism over the picture
Bernardo went on to delete the Tweet before expressing frustration with the angry response
‘It is sad to see someone like Bernardo all week be kind of down about it. He’s not that way inclined and they’re two really good friends. It’s really sad to see. I can understand why the criticism has come.
‘There’s no intentional racism and it’s not because it’s my team-mates. I don’t feel there’s any racism in it but I can see where people are coming from.
‘Bernardo is deeply sorry about it, he’s not in the wrong for me but I can see why people think it is. We have to be smart on social media this day in age.’
Sterling’s view was not completely agreed with by former Everton man Victor Anichebe, who was featuring as a pundit on Sky Sports.
‘I don’t think it’s right. I understand what Raheem is saying as a footballer,’ countered Anichebe.
Guardiola brought Bernardo on as a late substitute during Saturday’s victory at Goodison Park
‘Some jokes we make in the dressing room with teammates. I don’t think Bernardo Silva is a racist but he knows better.
‘You can say it’s a joke and stuff but he shouldn’t do this. The way City have handled it, I think, is a joke.
‘Saying the media should focus on different things. No. You should tell your player not to put those things out there and this wouldn’t be an issue. I don’t think it’s right.
‘He’s [Sterling] playing for Man City, huge profile and has taken it on his shoulders to talk about these issues.
‘You can’t brush over them. The fines racist incidents get are a joke. It could have backfired against him but it needs to be talked about.’