After the death of U.S. citizen George Floyd on May 25th in Minneapolis, thousands of people have took part in anti-racism marches in the UK and now Raheem Sterling has spoken out, stating that “protesting alone will not change this country” and says that progress in the fight against racism will “only come in football when more black players become managers”.
Speaking to the BBC’s Newsnight programme, the 25-year-old added: “Just like the pandemic, we want to find a solution to stop it.”
“At the same time, this is what all these protesters are doing. They are trying to find a solution and a way to stop the injustice they are seeing and they are fighting for their cause. As long as they are doing it peacefully and safely and not hurting anybody and not breaking into any stores, they continue to protest in this peaceful way.”
“The protest is a great starting point, to make your voice be heard, but just protesting alone is not going to make a change in this country. It’s how we move on from here. It’s about highlighting things, the society that needs changing and then acting upon it. We’ve done a lot of talking, and it’s time now to act.”
Sterling said that there needs to be greater Black, Asian and minority ethnic portrayal among British Football administrators and coaching staff and former BAME players should be given equal opportunities. For example, he compared four former England internationals who made their way into management: Chelsea’s Frank Lampard and Rangers’ Steven Gerrard, both white, and Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole, both black.
In 2018, the Football Association announced in an equality action plan that 5% of its leadership roles and 13% of England coaching staff were filled by people from a BAME background. In the same plan, the FA set targets of 11% and 20%, respectively, for 2021.
Listen to the full interview on his YouTube channel above.