By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The cold-blooded murder of George Floyd in the United States has spawned the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, which has led to demonstrations in many parts of the States, as well as many other countries around the world, including the United Kingdom.
It has also rekindled the debate on racism in sport, not least in football.
Manchester City and England striker, Raheem Sterling, has been particularly vocal on the subject for some time and stated in an exclusive interview with the BBC on 8 June as follows:
“I know this might sound a little bit cheesy but the only disease right now is the racism we are fighting. This is the most important thing at this moment in time because this is something that is happening for years and years. Just like the pandemic, we want to find a solution to stop it.”
Sterling has taken a lead against racism in football – both domestically and internationally – and the perception of black players by the media.
In 2019, he counselled fellow players against walking off the pitch in cases of racial abuse and also called for establishing a player-led anti-racism task force.
Sterling also believes that it is high time that just talking about racism in sport is not enough and must give way to action being taken against it.
Let us hope, therefore, that the football authorities take notice of the likes of Raheem Sterling and take some decisive action by kicking racism, once and for all, out of the ‘beautiful game’!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’