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Raheem Sterling hails Black Lives Matter protests as Man City star demands real change

And he cited the differing managerial opportunities of England legends Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell as an example of why he feels there is something fundamentally wrong with the attitude of football and society towards black people.

The England and Manchester City star has been a leading campaigner against racism and on Monday night was interviewed on BBC’s Newsnight programme about what he believes is a worse disease than coronavirus.

“The protest is a great starting point,” he said.

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“You need to get your voice heard and this is how people are getting their voices heard.

“It’s time that we need to have conversations to be able to spark debates.

“And not just debates, because we’ve done a lot of talking, to actually start implementing change.”

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Sterling is keen to challenge not just the clear injustices of George Floyd’s death but the more subtle racism which he illustrates is denying black people the opportunities they deserve.

“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,” he added.

“There’s not a lot of faces that we can relate to and have conversations with.

“I’ll give a perfect example. There’s Gerrard, your Lampards, you have your Campbells and you have your Coles.

“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.”

Sterling also urged Parliament to step up, with the England international discussing the lack of black MPs.

He said: “When I can have someone from a black background for me to be able to go to at the FA with a problem I have within the club.

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