Following the death of George Floyd in the United States, England forward Raheem Sterling gave his support to the country’s sweeping anti-racism demonstrations.
The 25-year-old Manchester City star insisted prejudice is “the only epidemic right now” and said he would continue speaking out on the subject in the hope that it will lead to positive change.
Speaking to Emily Maitlis on the BBC Newsnight in an interview to be broadcast on Monday night, Sterling said: “I know that may sound a little cheesy but the only epidemic we are fighting right now is racism. At this moment in time, this is the most important thing because this is something that has been happening for years and years. Just like the pandemic, we want to find a solution to stop it. All these protesters are doing this, at the same time. They try to find a solution and a way to stop the injustice they see and fight for their cause. They continue to protest in this peaceful way as long as they do it peacefully and safely, and do not hurt anyone and do not break into any stores.”
Before that, Sterling questioned the British media ‘s view of black players and took the lead in calling for racism in national as well as international sports.
In the event of racial abuse last year, he counseled fellow professionals against walking off the pitch and also called for the creation of a player-led anti-racism task force.
Yet Sterling believes that it is now time for the dialog to develop into concrete reforms and go further in banishing the stigma of bigotry from sport and wider society for good.
Sterling added: “There’s only so much that communities and other backgrounds can take – black people especially.”