Don’t hammer Sterling over mistake

Published: Tuesday 14th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Raheem Sterling “made a mistake” in apparently being filmed inhaling the legal high nitrous oxide but the 20-year-old Liverpool star should be treated with understanding, according to players’ union chief Bobby Barnes.

Footage has emerged of Sterling appearing to take ‘laughing gas’ and then passing out, and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said he will be speaking to his player about his lifestyle.

Barnes, deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association and European president of the international players’ union FIFPro, said people should not be too hard on Sterling.

Barnes told Press Association Sport: “Nobody would condone the use of these types of substances whether legal or otherwise as footballers are seen as role models. It does send a message to young people that if it’s good enough for footballers then it’s good enough for them and that is not desirable.

“But you have to bear in mind that we ask an awful lot of young players growing up in the public eye. Many of us look back at things we have done in our teens and early 20s and wish we hadn’t done them.

“He’s made a mistake and people are human. I am sure this will be a minor blip on his path to a fantastic career.

“Players have to be aware that there is camera on every corner – they are very much in the spotlight.

“He’s a young man, growing up in public eye and he’s made a mistake. Let’s not be too hard on the boy. He is under a lot of pressure and people think because he has a lot of talent he’s also supposed to have diplomacy and wisdom.

“In the main he’s doing a very good job, he’s at a good club and has a good manager and I’m sure Brendan will put his arm around him and at the same time make him aware of his responsibilities.”

Published: Tuesday 14th April 2015 by The News Editor

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