The Players' Tribune has produced some exceptionally high-quality writing since the World Cup started, and arguably the best piece yet was published this morning under Raheem Sterling's byline.
Sterling begins the piece with a lovely yarn of his daughter running through the halls of his house singing the Mo Salah song, before asking the reader if he can trust them.
So can I trust you? Can I tell you my story, and will you really listen? If you read certain papers, maybe you already think you know me. Maybe you think you know my story, and what I care about. But do you really?
Sterling then delves into his father's murder in Jamaica and how he came to England, and how his mother became the driving force behind his career. It's outstanding and can be read in full here.
Sterling has been hounded by the British tabloid media over the last few years, with The Sun leading the latest furor by splashing his unfinished gun tattoo across their front page, with their manufactured outraged echoing around radio phone-ins and Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan.
This was just the latest in the media vilification of Sterling, with The Sun castigating him for having an expensive-looking bathroom after the Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland.
Sterling responds in the Players' Tribune.
You know … it’s sad that I even have to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway. There’s a perception in certain parts of the media that I love “bling.” I love diamonds. I love to show off. I really don’t understand where that comes from. Especially when I bought my mum a house, it was unbelievable what some people were writing. I think it’s really sad that people do that. They hate what they don’t even know.
If people want to write about my mum’s bathroom in her house, all I have to tell you is that 15 years ago, we were cleaning toilets in Stonebridge and getting breakfast out of the vending machine. If anybody deserves to be happy, it’s my mum. She came to this country with nothing and put herself through school cleaning bathrooms and changing bed sheets, and now she’s the director of a nursing home.
And her son plays for England.
If you grew up the same way I grew up, don’t listen to what certain tabloids want to tell you. They just want to steal your joy. They just want to pull you down.
It's a fantastic piece that resonates on issues other than just football.