Manchester City’s England forward Raheem Sterling is being honored for speaking out on a range of social issues, including racism. Sterling received The Integrity and Impact Award at this year’s BT Sport Industry Awards
Sterling was recognised for his fight against racism in the sport and for using his platform to call for more action to be taken. He had said this month that more players needed to speak out when they suffered racism to eradicate it from the game.
“I was just speaking about my personal experiences, I didn’t expect it to get so much attention, I just wanted to bring it to the attention of my audience on Instagram,” Sterling said as he received the award from his England coach Gareth Southgate.
“It’s been really pleasing to see people listening and trying and do better. Partly what happens when you try to do good things is you set examples for the next generation coming through.”
The 24-year-old also signed a manifesto earlier this week where he said clubs should be handed automatic nine-point deductions and ordered to play three games behind closed doors if their supporters indulged in racist behaviour.
Sterling suffered allegedly racist abuse from Chelsea fans during City’s 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in December, prompting an Instagram post in which he questioned newspapers’ portrayal of black players.
In January, it was revealed he wrote a letter to a young City fan who was racially abused, urging the supporter “stand tall, don’t let them take away your courage”.
He was also racially abused during England’s European Championship qualifier in Montenegro in March, along with international team-mates Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Earlier in April, he was hailed as “an iconic British sports star” and “a trailblazer” after being named sportsman of the year at the 2019 British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards.