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Manchester United's Ashley Young on pitch invasions, fan violence: Football needs to act

Manchester United's Ashley Young on pitch invasions, fan violence: Football needs to act

ESPN

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has spoken of his frustration over the media's portrayal of him as a flashy footballer describing it as "hurtful" and "degrading."

Sterling previously hit out at media coverage that he said "helps fuel racism," after he suffered alleged abuse during a match at Chelsea in December.

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On Feb. 8, a fire at an uninspected youth dorm at one of Brazil's highest-earning clubs killed 10 young players. How?

When Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to meet in Argentina's most important match, Buenos Aires lost its mind, writes Wright Thompson.

Sterling, 24, highlighted a difference in the coverage of young white and black players and added that he has been unfairly depicted as extravagant.

"From the very start of my career, there has been a perception of a flashy kid from London: loves cars, loves the flashy lifestyle," he told the New York Times. "I'm not saying I'm a saint or anything, but that is the complete opposite of who I am.

"These people do not know me. They will define me by what they read about me; that is how they will treat me. When people are making the public believe you are a character you aren't, that is hurtful, and it is degrading."

Sterling has emerged as a potential candidate for Player of the Year after his hat trick in the 3-1 victory over Watford took his goal tally for the season to 18 in all competitions.

He was also a major part of England's run to the World Cup semifinals in the summer, although that hasn't stopped the boos that come his way at many away grounds across the country.

And Sterling said negative depictions are not just confined to football with the focus on spending among successful black people.

"It is not just me," he said. "Whenever you see a report on a black player or a black entertainer it has to end up with money, or bling, or cars, or something flashy.

"With a successful white person, it is nice, short, sweet, what a lovable person."

He added: "It is a stereotype of black people: chains and jewellery, bling and money. These are words that are associated with black people. If I was showing 10 cars on my driveway, if I was on Instagram biting my gold chain, or with two Rolexes on, you can call me flashy.

"But you can't label me as that if I am not portraying that."

Ashley Young has called on football chiefs to do more to protect players after a pitch invader confronted Manchester United teammate Chris Smalling during the defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.

Police have confirmed a man has been arrested on suspicion of common assault and pitch invasion after the incident which occurred during the celebrations following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's penalty to make it 2-0.

ESPN+ is America's home for a host of professional soccer leagues from around the world, highlighted by Italy's Serie A, Major League Soccer, UEFA Nations League and English FA Cup. |
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ESPN FC's experts ranked the best men's players and managers in world football. Check it out.

On Feb. 8, a fire at an uninspected youth dorm at one of Brazil's highest-earning clubs killed 10 young players. How?

When Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to meet in Argentina's most important match, Buenos Aires lost its mind, writes Wright Thompson.

It came just hours after a man was charged with assaulting Aston Villa's Jack Grealish during their win over Birmingham at St Andrew's.

There were two incidents involving pitch invaders during United's 1-0 defeat to Juventus at Old Trafford in October and Young has called on the governing bodies to take action.

"What message can you put out any more? That's the third time a fan has managed to get on the pitch -- what if they are carrying something? The players will be in danger," Young told beIN Sports.

"Whether it's the FA, Premier League, FIFA, something's got to be done maybe with extra stewarding or whatever.

"It's a concern with the one earlier [Grealish] and the one with Chrissy, something has definitely go to be done."

Arsenal issued an apology to United and Smalling on Sunday night while Smalling tweeted on Monday that "commenting would only add to the attention he [the pitch invader] craved."

United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also asked about the incident during his postmatch press conference at the Emirates after watching his team lose a Premier League game for the first time since he took over from Jose Mourinho in December.

"I didn't get to see exactly what happened but of course there shouldn't be a place when someone runs onto a pitch, it's not nice to see," Solskjaer said.

"We just have to make sure we'll play football and they can watch. It's just one of them things you don't want to see."

ESPN