Shay Facey has condemned the ‘sickening’ abuse aimed at his former Manchester City club-mate Raheem Sterling by supporters at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
And the Cobblers defender is hoping the highlighting and resulting criticism of the actions of the small section of Chelsea fans during Saturday night’s Premier League clash will go a long way to ensuring it won’t happen again.
If it was their family, friends or son then I am sure they would be upset about it, so it’s not nice to do it to somebody else really is it?”Cobblers defender Shay Facey
Sterling was the victim of some vitriolic and alleged racist abuse from a group of men as he went to retrieve the ball to take a throw-in.
The moment was captured by the BT Sport TV cameras and widely circulated on social media.
The offenders in the crowd have been identified and suspended from attending matches by Chelsea, as police investigations into what exactly happened continue.
But there was no doubting the anger and fury that headed England international Sterling’s way, and it was a shocking sight for Facey to watch.
“It was quite sickening really, wasn’t it? I have experienced it myself and it is not a nice feeling,” said the 23-year-old, left Manchester City to join the Cobblers in January.
“But I don’t know. People can get caught up in the moment I suppose, and I am sure that guy will come out an apologise, and hopefully he won’t do it again.
“The more incidents we can catch shine a light on it and people will stop doing it, because it is not fair and it is not nice.
“If it was their family, friends or son then I am sure they would be upset about it, so it’s not nice to do it to somebody else really is it?”
Facey was a club-mate of Sterling’s at the Etihad, and although he never played for the first team, the Cobblers man did train with the senior squad.
Sterling criticised the media following the events at the Bridge, suggesting their tone and attitude is different when it comes to covering news and stories on him and other black players.
Facey feels Sterling does attract ‘negative media’, and admits he can’t understand why.
“Raheem does seem to be a bit of a scapegoat for some reason, and I am not sure why because from what I know of him as a person he is a really nice lad,” said the Stockport-born player.
“He is obviously somebody who is at the top of his game at the moment, and I think he deserves all the plaudits he gets.
“For some reason or another he does seem at attract negative media and press, and all I would tell him to do is keep his head up, to continue what he is doing and keep proving people wrong.”
Racism in football is something that Facey says he has experienced first hand in his career to date, but mainly overseas, and praised Sterling for speaking out on what happened to him.
“I have never really had it playing in England,” said the Cobblers man.
“I have in different countries of course, and there have been tiny bits here and there, but I think for the most part we don’t see it as much as we have done in past years.
“It is unfortunate thing has happened to Raheem, and it was obviously televised and caught on camera.
“I can’t be mad at him for speaking out, because the more exposure we get for this kind of thing then it will be better for everybody. If people know they are on TV and that, then hopefully it won’t happen as much.”