Raheem Sterling demands more "black people in leading positions" in football
9 June 2020, 12:28 | Updated: 9 June 2020, 12:30
Raheem Sterling questioned why there was no black representation in football's most powerful positions.
Football as an industry has been attempting to tackle racism for many years, with organisations like Show Racism The Red Card and Kick It Out being two of the most high profile groups trying to eliminate racism from the game, whilst Jadon Sancho recently addressed the murder of George Floyd by revealing an 'RIP George Floyd' t-shirt when he scored a goal.
On several occasions during his career, England and Manchester City player Raheem Sterling has faced racism in many forms, including direct racist abuse from fans during matches and in a new interview he's shone further light on racism in his sport.
Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Raheem Sterling spoke openly about his own experiences with racism and used an example of high profile white players getting managerial jobs ahead of their black colleagues.
Addressing the Black Lves Matter protests which were sparked following the murder of George Floyd, Sterling said, "It's about coming together and finding a solution to be able to spark change because we can talk as much as we want about changing and putting people, black people, in these positions that I do feel they should be in"
He continued, "For example, the coaching staff that you see around football clubs. I'll give a perfect example. There's Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, you have Sol Campbell and you have Ashley Cole. All had great careers, all played for England. At the same time, they've all respectfully done their coaching badges to coach at the highest level and the two that haven't been given the right opportunities are the two black former players."
Referencing the number of black players n the Premier League compared with those in higher positions at clubs and in the FA, Sterling said, "There's something like 500 players in the Premier League and a third of them are black and we have no representation of us in the hierarchy, no representation of us in the coaching staffs. There's not a lot of faces that we can relate to and have conversations with."
Calling for change within football, Sterling stated, "I want change. The change is being able to speak to people in parliament, people at the hierarchy at my football club — not just my football club, football clubs across the country, people at the national team of England, to implement change and give equal chances to black coaches — and not just black coaches, but also different ethnicities."