After scoring his first Premier League goal since December against Arsenal in a 3-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has described the kneeling of footballers, referees and coaches in respect to the Black Lives Matter protest as a massive step.
Sterling had, in an interview with the BBC, said that there is more action needed to fight racism against the black players. The England winger also said that BAME coaches needed to be given equal opportunities in management as well.
All the teams that played yesterday’s game on the return of the English Premier League paid respect by kneeling before kick-off. Players’ names on shirts were also replaced with ‘Black Lives Matter.’ According to reports, the BLM badge will feature on all playing shirts for the rest of the season.
Sterling in an interview with Sky Sports after the game said it shows the stakeholders are going in the right direction, adding that the change will be seen gradually.
“It was natural; it was organic. We saw the teams do it in the earlier kick-off and thought it was something we had to do as well.”
Clubs proud to support Black Live Matter Movement
Both Aston Villa and Sheffield United shortly after their match began in a joint statement that said they “were proud to stand in solidarity” with the actions of their players and coaching staff in “expressing our collective support for the Black Lives Matter movement.”
The added that it is hoped they had sent “a strong message of unity” and amplified “the many messages of support from Premier League players and the wider football family.”
I am ashamed – Guardiola
Also speaking on the subject, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said white people need to apologise for the way they have treated black people for 400 years.
“I am ashamed of what we have done to black people around the world. It is not only in the USA where it has happened. The problem is everywhere. Maybe for our generation, it is too late, but for the following generations, they can understand the only race is ourselves. We are human beings. It doesn’t matter the colour of our skin.”