Monday 21 September, 2020

Sterling calls for more black coaches and leaders in British football

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City.

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City.

Jamaica-born England and Manchester City star Raheem Sterling called for more BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) representation in positions of power, including as managers.

Anti-racism protests have been held around the world, including in the United Kingdom, following the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis last month.

Sterling pointed to the contrasting fortunes of four former England internationals in management, saying Sol Campbell (Southend United) and Ashley Cole (Chelsea Under-15s) deserved the same opportunities as Steven Gerrard (Rangers) and Frank Lampard (Chelsea).

"There's Steven Gerrard, your Frank Lampards, you have your Sol Campbells and you have your Ashley Coles," he told the BBC on Monday.

"All had great careers, all played for England, 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, 25, also said he wanted to see change at other levels in England, asking for greater representation of BAME players.

"I think there's something like 500 players in the English Premier League, a third of them are black," the forward said.

"We have no representation of us in hierarchy, no representation of us in coaching staffs, there's not a lot of faces that we can relate to and have conversations with.

"I do think with these protests that are going on, it's all well and good just talking, but 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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