Nike backs footballer Raheem Sterling in ad celebrating outspoken views

Footballer stars in social media post reminiscent of Colin Kaepernick work last year.

Raheem Sterling has appeared in a new ad for Nike following the football star’s outspoken views on the media and racism in the sport.

The Manchester City and England forward was featured in a social media post on Saturday that is reminiscent of Nike’s ad for Colin Kaepernick in September last year.

The ad features Sterling’s face in black and white alongside the words: "Speaking up doesn’t always make life easier. But easy never changed anything."

Sterling took to Instagram on 9 December to accuse newspapers of racial bias in their reporting of young Premier League footballers.

The footballer, who has also posted the ad on his own Instagram feed, wrote last week: "[F]or all the news papers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age all I have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity [and] give all players an equal chance." 

He posted the comments alongside two pictures of MailOnline stories – one about a young black footballer who bought a house for his mother "despite having never started a Premier League match" and one of a young white footballer who simply "buys new £2m home for his mum".

Sterling’s comments came a day after he was allegedly racially abused during Manchester City’s match against Chelsea in London.

The work is similar in style to the ad starring Kaepernick, a former NFL American football player who controversially kneeled during the pre-match national anthem to highlight police violence against African American people. 

Following the Kaepernick post, Nike also produced a two-minute film, created by Wieden & Kennedy, that features more high-profile African American sports stars such as Serena Williams and LeBron James.

This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign 

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