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Home   /   The negative press on our young black footballers is tarnishing our game

Published November 2020

What Kind of Journalism is this?!

After looking at the Mirror’s online headline above surrounding Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood, I am so appalled as to how our young footballers are being viewed and treated by the British media. As a young black individual myself, it is very disturbing.

What the British media are so good at doing is praising our fresh young talent and placing them in the limelight only just to bring them down again. It is a recurring theme and its probably why our British talents over the past decade haven’t reached the heights that their early years have promised.

It’s probably why England haven’t won a major tournament in so long, because of so much media scrutiny and negative pressure on our young footballers.

Mason Greenwood over the past few weeks has been the latest victim of such, and fair enough, he’s had a tough few months, and that can be said for almost every other human being on the planet, and that is not taken into consideration from newspapers such as the Mirror.  What they are forgetting is that he is only 19-years-old, barely an adult and yet he is still receiving much media scrutiny.

After enjoying such a remarkable breakthrough season last year, in which he recorded 17 goals in his first year as a first-team squad player, it revealed so much about Greenwood and his incredible abilities and that has obviously been highlighted and praised by the media, but then to bring him crashing right back down after a few mistakes really is not right.

Certainly, the forward made a mistake in September after being spotted with Phil Foden breaking lockdown procedures whilst on international duty for England, and he’s apologised for it along with the Manchester City midfielder. But while Foden has been left alone, the scrutiny and negative press surrounding Greenwood has ridiculously heightened.

Here we have yet another Raheem Sterling incident like we had two years ago where the Manchester City forward was pictured in a negative light because of a “controversial” tattoo on his right leg. Sterling addressed it, stating that the British media intentionally set out to destroy young footballers by ‘fuelling racism and aggressive behaviour’, when comparing Daily Mail reports on Phil Foden and Tosin Adarabioyo who both bought houses for their parents which brought much attention and debate:

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Mason Greenwood is only human, he’s only 19-year-old, and while there is room to encourage him and get behind him as he aims to deal with his current situation, the British media instead set out to intentionally make things even more difficult.

He reportedly lost a close friend to suicide, and to make matters worse, there were silly rumours stating that he’d been the subject of rape, when clearly the headline in the Daily Mail clearly stated ‘Premier League star in his 20s arrested on suspicion of rape and false imprisonment in his home’, why is there a sudden jump to the conclusion that Greenwood is the culprit?

It is disheartening the way these decorated black individuals are being perceived by the media. It is a long-standing issue in our society and it must be addressed, discussions need to be had. Racism and discrimination is a big issue in our game, and if our media outlets are allowed to report these kind of false stories, what does that mean for the rest of society?

Just because he’s going through a tough period does not mean we can also spread false rumours surrounding the player. It does not mean our journalists and reporters should use their perceived freedoms to go around and spread hate and negativity on these footballers’ mistakes.

Mason Greenwood is a talented individual and should be left to his football club to help him get through this period. Such is life, these things happen and a footballer is no different, they are humans too, not robots. These are individuals going through a lot also, and the media negativity is not helping matters.

Whatever happened to positive press and reporting? Let us get behind one of our own and support them, not bring them down.

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