Image via Nike Football

In the style of its viral Colin Kaepernick advert, Nike has highlighted Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling as the face of its latest campaign.

The black and white visual, put together by advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, shows a close-up of Sterling’s face, in addition to the tagline, “Speaking up doesn’t always make life easier. But easy never changed anything.”

The quote sums up the soccer star’s outspoken stance about media’s possible influence over racism. Specifically, he spoke out about newspapers’ apparent racial bias over the Premier League players they featured.

Last week, Sterling shared screenshots of two contrasting headlines by MailOnline on Instagram that he said were an example of racial bias.

The first seemed to chide a young black Manchester City footballer for buying a house for his mother “despite having never started a Premier League match,” whereas the second applauded a young white player who “buys new £2 million (US$1.26 million)” for his mother.

“This young black kid is looked at in a bad light,” the star explained. “Which helps fuel racism, an aggressive behavior. So for all the newspapers 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.”

Sterling himself was subjected to racial taunting by a Chelsea fan during the 8 December Premier League match. The spectator was caught on video using what sounded like a racial slur on Sterling after the soccer player retrieved a ball from the byline.

[via Campaign, images via various sources]

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