Chelsea defeated Manchester City 2-0 at Stamford Bridge early in the December, but an ugly scene happened in that game as television footage showed a group of home supporters screaming abuse at Sterling as he retrieved the ball from behind the goal.
The abuse on Sterling were alleged to be racial abuses, and fresh off those racial abuses some Chelsea fans were heard singing an anti-Semitic song during the Europa League clash away to Vidi last week, which has prompted strong reactions from the football community.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has written an open letter to fans condemning the actions of a few Chelsea fans.
Buck said the actions were “unacceptable” and “unwelcome”.
In his letter to Chelsea fans, Buck wrote: “After recent events, I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to our community and fans to condemn the actions of a few mindless individuals at some of our recent matches. These actions are unacceptable and unwelcome both in our club and in football.
“A deeply unpleasant but vocal minority which refuses to join us in the 21st century has shamed the great majority of our decent, well-behaved fans. We have been carrying out our own investigations into these events while cooperating fully with authorities. We have already suspended four individuals pending investigations and will continue to take the strongest possible action against anybody found to have been using discriminatory words or gestures. But we must all come together to stamp out these ugly scenes.
“Over the past weeks, months and indeed years, I have spoken at length to various Chelsea fans and supporter groups, all of whom are in full agreement that the type of behaviour we have witnessed is wholly unacceptable, hurtful and does not represent the club or the overwhelming majority of those who follow our teams home and away.”
He also added: “Our club prides itself on our inclusion and diversity work, and in particular that of the Chelsea Foundation, which since its birth in 2010 has grown into one of the most far-reaching social programmes in world sport. Its Building Bridges campaign has promoted equality within our club, our stadium and throughout our communities for nearly a decade.
“Our Say No to Antisemitism campaign has received widespread backing since its launch in January and as a part of this, we will play a game next May against the New England Revolution in America. We also recently took part in the Rainbow Laces campaign, reinforcing our support for the Chelsea Pride group to increase visibility of and provide a representative voice for the club’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) fans, their friends and families.”
Buck revealed in his letter to the fans that the club will need the fans to be involved in this fight against racism.
He said: “Clearly, there remains a way to go on this journey, but we will not rest until we have eliminated all forms of discrimination from our club. We will continue to work alongside our fans, anti-discrimination organisations and football authorities to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.”
In conclusion of his letter, Buck wrote: “We are determined to win this battle, but we need the backing and action of those who share the principles of this great club.”