Raheem Sterling

There will be progress in the fight against racism with more BAME coaches – Raheem Sterling

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Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has said that there will only be progress in the fight against racism in football when there are more managers.

Following the death of American George Floyd on 25 May in Minneapolis in the custody of Police officers, thousands of people have taken part in anti-racism marches in the UK.

Speaking over the protest, the England forward, who has suffered several racist abuses said the action is a great starting point to make the voice of the black race heard.

He, however, said ordinary protests wouldn’t bring about the desired change in the country while speaking to the BBC’s Newsnight programme.

The 25-year-old winger said progress could be made, but it all depends on how they move on from now, saying there is a need to highlighting things that require change, and the society needs to act on it.

While noting that a lot has been done with a lot of talking, Sterling said it’s time now to act, adding that the only disease right now is racism.

Expressing his total support to the protests, the former Liverpool player called for greater black, Asian and minority ethnic representation among administrators and coaching staff in British football, which will give equal opportunities to former BAME players.

Citing an example, he compared the progress of former England internationals, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, who are both white and making their way in management compared to Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole, who are both black.

The two management jobs of Campbell so far have been from the English lower-league, at Macclesfield and Southend, while Cole is currently coaching  Chelsea’s Under-15s after retiring from football last year.

He, therefore, said there is a need to speak with the country’s lawmakers, senior staff of football clubs across the country, and the national team to implement change and give equal chances to all races.

He further stated that the process shouldn’t be about just taking the knee but to give BAME coaches jobs in their respective fields, with the right opportunity because they deserve it.

He further stated that in the players association where one-third of them are blacks, there is no representation of black players in the hierarchy and even the coaching staff.

It could be recalled that the Football Association had in 2018 announced in an equality action plan that people from a BAME background filled 5 % of its leadership roles and 13% of England coaching staff. It further set a target of increasing the percentage to  11% and 20%, respectively, for 2021.