Raheem Sterling leads social media drive urging Government to act on lack of diversity in football


Raheem Sterling is at the forefront of a co-ordinated social media assault that demands the government intervene in improving diversity in football.

On the eve of Project Restart, Sterling, joined by football’s most high profile figures including Liverpool pair Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jadon Sancho, Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and Lucy Bronze, issued a powerful video imploring parliament to take a stand against the lack of diversity in UK sport.

In the video Sterling:

• Claims the problem of prejudice is not going away

• Bemoans the lack of diversity in positions of power in UK sport

• Calls on sporting bodies to re-assess their recruitment policies

• Asks for the Government to force sporting bodies to have greater diversity at board level

• says ‘he will never tire of being black’

Sportsmail understands the timing of Tuesday’s powerful video was deliberate with Premier League games resuming on Wednesday night.

And he hopes the message will kick start a process of making permanent changes to ensure diversity is improved in sport and society.

As well as the aforementioned players, BBC presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker, Bayern Munich star David Alaba and ex-Manchester City full-back Gael Clichy have also back Sterling’s drive for change.

The 10 individuals involved have combined social media following of 60 million.

In an interview with Sky Sports aired on Tuesday, Sterling said: ‘I feel like I speak for most black people, everyone is tired.

‘With the protesting that is going on you see what is happening in America transferring to the UK.

‘A lot of people have been in silence and is using this opportunity as a moment to be one and try to get not just answers but changes to society.

‘People like myself that has a platform to try to get these messages into the right places and have these conversations that can spark change.

‘I’m not someone with the most ideas in the world or know exactly what to do but we just have to highlight these things that people are facing in everyday aspects of their lives.

‘It is something that is coming up a lot more which is a good thing. I truly do believe that now is the time that we have to act. I am doing my bit behind the scenes.’

Sterling has been on the receiving end of abuse from fans in England and Europe, but revealed that it has not been confined to just the terraces in the past.

He has spoken about team-mates making ill-judged comments in the dressing room.

‘Yes, sly remarks for sure. It goes on today,’ he said.

‘It is in a jokey way but at the same people have to understand if you haven’t felt it you don’t know what it means to the person you’re saying it to.

‘Some people will take it on the chin but at the same time it is not acceptable.

‘It has happened in the past, I can’t say too recent, but is has happened in the past where I’ve heard sly remarks in the dressing room.’

Reported by: Vincent Paul

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