Raheem Sterling says the racist abuse he faced from a Chelsea fan at Stamford Bridge a few years ago didn’t cross his mind before he decided to sign for the club from Manchester City last month .
The 27-year-old England forward said the incident at Stamford Bridge in 2018, which saw Chelsea fan Colin Wing banned for life, made him realize his responsibility as a leading black player.
“It wasn’t what was going through my mind at all,” Sterling told reporters ahead of Chelsea’s home game against Tottenham on Sunday.
“I cannot allow an incident with certain people to change my perception of the club.
“I have no hatred or malice towards man.”
Sterling, who won four league titles with City, said it gave him the opportunity to realize his “real purpose outside of football”.
“Of course, football is my main goal and my main talent, but it’s something else that brings me the most joy. It’s about helping people…I’ve moved away from the racial aspect and I’m more focused on helping and educating young black people.”
Chelsea, who finished third last season, beat Everton in their Premier League title.