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England star Maro Itoje praises Raheem Sterling and slams coverage of black players who are judged by ‘power and speed’ rather than skill

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The Saracens lock also took aim at the media for their coverage of black players and praised Raheem Sterling for standing up to abuse this season.

Maro Itoje claims he would not take his children to football games after witnessing the ‘disgraceful’ behaviour of Arsenal fans towards former boss Arsene Wenger.

When it’s a black boy murdered, he was ‘wearing a hoodie’.

“It’s the same in punditry – a lot of the time when they describe black players they talk about athleticism, their power, their speed.

I saw little kids, 12-year-olds, watching their parents swearing, abusing Arsene Wenger, abusing the players.

“I was taken aback by the way the fans behaved, towards each other, towards the players,” Itoje said.

“I know someone who was abused racially in the Under-20s World Cup, so that problem is not fully stamped out.” Asked if he would ever consider walking off the field of play if he did encounter the kind of abuse Sterling had, Itoje said: “I am caught between two minds – nobody should be made to play in front of abusive fans.
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