The former Reading and Stoke City striker showed up this week to force the switch to the Professional Footballers ‘Association with a public letter to general manager Gordon Taylor asking 101 questions to the organization.
But there have been rumors from some quarters that his attempt to take control may be derailed due to a dispute over comments he made after England star Sterling was the victim of racial violence during a match at Chelsea two years ago.
Kitson, 40, set the record straight, asking people to pass judgment after hearing his side of the story.
He said, “The day after I retired, I was fighting my heels and saw that a convention was taking place in a hotel near my home. The hotel has been converted from a stately home and was hosting a Ferrari convention.
“I went to my son there and said,” Take a picture, it will be funny. So he took a picture. I’m standing in front of the hotel, between two Ferraris.
“Without thinking, I posted it on my Instagram account with the caption:” I was bored on the first day of my retirement. It was a bad attempt at ironic humor.
“People who know me will know that I crossed the factory financially. People who didn’t see it as the expression of a glamorous lifestyle worth defaming.
“The abuse I suffered was unreal. There have been hundreds of responses. The majority of them included the words “flash”, “ginger” and much worse.
“It really caught me by surprise … anger and nastiness. I didn’t really think the world was so hard.
“Two or three years later, I was talking on TalkSport and asked for my opinion after Raheem was brutally abused while playing for Manchester City at Chelsea. It was horrible.
“I couldn’t help but think about the episode when I suffered a backlash from posting glamorous lifestyle photos online.
“I said I watched Raheem’s social media feed and that at first it was his cars and homes, I was glad he changed it because ‘there was a lot of jealousy and I knew what it was. was like being at the end of unwarranted abuse.
“I said it gives people a reason not to love him as a person. Not that he did something wrong on his social media account, but it did give some people a platform to voice their ugly and uninformed opinions.
“But I’m sorry it sort of turned into a suggestion that I tolerated the shocking abuses that Raheem suffered or that he otherwise requested. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“I may have used awkward language and I apologize. But I never have and never will tolerate any form of racism.
“I admire Raheem for taking the fight and saying,” No, I don’t want that. And I agree with him. More needs to be done. And I’m ready to do it.
If you can’t see the poll, click here
“And if he, or anyone else, wants to discuss this issue with me, and what I intend to do, I’m more than happy to have this conversation and put his mind – and that of other players – at rest. “
Kitson is aware that he cannot carry an entire profession with him as he seeks to affect a profound change in the governance of the PFA. If he fails, he wants it to be for some reason other than the misunderstood criticism that is leveled at him.
He added: “I faced racism in the field and saw children crying in the locker rooms afterwards because of racist abuse in the stands. “
Mirror the best football stories
“It is absolutely intolerable. And what’s going on right now is not a deterrent. It does not work.
“So we have to find one. I hope this is something I will have a chance to talk to Raheem – and ask for his help and insight, if he is willing to discuss it.