As a player that’s recently been on the end of terrible racist abuse whilst playing for Manchester City, Raheem Sterling knows only too well the damage that it can do.
It’s perhaps with that in mind that he’s weighed into the Black Lives Matter debate, something that has garnered widespread news coverage over the days since black American citizen, George Floyd, was murdered by a serving police officer, Derek Chauvin.
That wanton act of violence has led to looting, worldwide protests and marches, some of which have descended into violence against the police or the defacing of monuments and statues to those historical figures who were known to be racist.
Whilst Sterling clearly wants any protests to be conducted peacefully, he agrees with the cause which those on the front line are fighting against.
“The only disease right now is the racism that we are fighting.”
England football player Raheem Sterling says protesters who took to the streets after the killing of George Floyd are trying to find a solution to injustice
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 8, 2020
“This is the most important thing at this moment in time because it’s something that’s been happening for years and years and just like the pandemic we want to find a solution to stop it,” he told BBC’s Newsnight programme.
“And at the same time this is what all the protestors are doing. They’re trying to find a solution and a way to stop the injustice that they’re seeing.
“They’re fighting for their cause and I think this is, as long as they’re doing it peacefully and safely, and not hurting anyone or breaking into any stores, I think they continue to protest in this peaceful way.”
People of colour and with influence will naturally be asked to speak out, whilst it’s entirely possible that some supporters will suggest it has nothing to do with football and Sterling should just concentrate on doing what he’s paid a hefty remuneration for.
Given the subject matter, that would be missing the point entirely.