Raheem Sterling among England players in video campaign calling for change
England players Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lucy Bronze are among a host of stars to appear in a video campaign calling for change as a result of the Black Live Matter movement.
Former England striker Gary Lineker also appears in the video along with Kevin De Bruyne, former Manchester City defenders Vincent Kompany and Gael Clichy, and Bayern Munich’s David Alaba.
Collectively, they read a message which says: “We are tired. We are tired of no one listening. We are tired of screaming for help.
“We are tired of discrimination. We are tired of protesting. We are tired of demanding social equality.
“We are tired of demanding social inclusion. We are tired of asking for change, for a better society, for a better life.
“We are tired of seeing black men die. We are tired of saying, ‘What if it was me, falling asleep like George Floyd?’ We are tired.”
The video concludes with Sterling saying: “I will never tire of being black”.
Sterling posted the video on social media with the hashtag #timeforchange.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sterling had said “now is the time to act” on racism.
The issue has been on the worldwide agenda in recent weeks, with the Black Lives Matter movement gaining rapid speed after the death of George Floyd in America.
Racism has also become a topic in sport, with players and coaches speaking about a lack of opportunity for black people, while the Premier League has ordered shirts to don the Black Lives Matter message on the back instead of player names for the first round of matches after the restart.
Speaking on Sky Sports, 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.”
Sterling has been on the receiving end of abuse from fans in England and Europe, but has 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.”
The Black Lives Matter message on clubs’ shirts will be joined by a tribute to the NHS for their work during the coronavirus crisis and Premier League chief executive Richard Masters insists the messages are not overly political.
“I wouldn’t see what is going in terms of the messages being overtly political, I see them as ethics based, values statements,” Masters said,
“We have been talking to the players about how they wanted to respond to the two big issues – Covid and the response to events in America and they made clear what they wanted to do to us and we and the clubs were happy to support them, as were the PFA and LMA.
“We are comfortable, absolutely comfortable, to listen to the players where they have strong opinions and it’s right that they express them.
“I don’t see them as being overtly political. We are trying to put out unifying messages.”