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Money with Raheem Sterling's face made by Lack of Guidance

The "Raheem on a Sterling" project to pay homage to the player's social commitment

Money with Raheem Sterling's face made by Lack of Guidance The Raheem on a Sterling project to pay homage to the player's social commitment

Lack of Guidance projects always have a nuance between genius and madness and even with "Raheem on a Sterling" the direction seems to be exactly that. At the heart of many campaigns is the fight against racism and the work done with Naomi Accardi last September is the best manifesto of their mission. At the center of the new project is the face of Raheem Sterling, the same one that Lack of Guidance decided to print on personalized 10 pound notes. The reason is very simple: "His commitment to promoting a positive agenda and giving young England fans, of all backgrounds, classes and colors, the hero they deserve is something we can all be proud of" and for that motif has space on the pounds, alongside characters like Jane Austen, Winston Churchill, Alan Turing and the British royalty.

Lack of Guidance always promotes initiatives that concretely try to help those who take the side of the most disadvantaged, just as the City striker often does. Again, LoG has auctioned the banknotes - already available on the Lack of Guidance website - and produced a t-shirt with the sterling print depicting Sterling. All profits will be donated to an organization that uses football to support less fortunate young people in the UK.

Behind the homage that the Dutch collective wanted to dedicate to Sterling there is much more. Within the project - launched in small pills through social media - there is a part dedicated to how the athlete was the victim of smear campaigns by British media such as The Sun and Daily Mail. Lack of Guidance wants to emphasize how stereotypes and prejudices are used by the tabloids to put the lifestyle of black athletes in a bad light, judging and pointing to them.

For years Sterling has been th focus of vitriolic obsession by th media, particularly tha Daily Mail and The Sun. Having had his personal life and lifestyle choices picked over i a manner that has givn off more than a whiff of classism and racial prejudice. 

In response, Raheem has been a passionate and articulate voice demanding balance in how young black athletes are portrayed, fighting lazy stereotypes and outlining the rank hypcrisy of those same media outlets.

A similar reasoning can be translated into the Italian football scene with the many events told and happened to Mario Balotelli, an athlete for whom the press has often used two weights and two measures. Beyond the "Balotellate" that enhance a lively and exuberant character, Mario was often pointed out and treated just like Sterling, with attacks often gratuitous which then resulted in the iconic celebration "Why always me?" that Balotelli exhibited during the derby between City and United in 2011.