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Raheem Sterling welcomes ‘huge step’ after Premier League players take a knee

Raheem Sterling welcomes 'huge step' after Premier League players take a knee
Niki J. Layton
Written by Niki J. Layton
The players, coaching staff and officials all got down on one knee at the start of the two matches on Wednesday, with England’s top division returning from one 100 day interval.
Powerful images pay tribute to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement that rose prominently from the dead George Floyd.

“I see this as a big step for something like that to happen in the Premier League and it shows that we are heading in the right direction,” said Sterling, who scored an opening goal in a 3-0 loss to Arsenal.

“We’re seeing a little bit of change. It’s natural, it’s organic. We’ve seen teams do this in the previous kick-off, and we thought this was something we had to do too.”

Pep over racism

The Premier League has previously confirmed that players are not punished for taking a knee before or during games because they stand united against all forms of discrimination.

The names on the backs of the players’ jerseys have been replaced with the words’ Black Lives Matter ‘and a badge supporting the movement on every shirt for the rest of this season.

This is the message backed up by City Manager Pep Guardiola, “Whites should apologize for the way we treated black people in the last 400 years.

“I am ashamed of the work we have done for black people not only in the US but around the world; the problem is everywhere,” he told a post-match news conference.

With soccer leagues reopening in the middle of the pandemic, Clubs and their players Solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
Marcelo of Real Madrid He raised his first one by taking a knee during this week’s goal celebration Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund ‘Justice for George Floyd’ T-shirt revealed after scoring in Bundesliga.

This movement forces people to reflect on their past actions. Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville recently apologized to Sterling, who pushed the youngster while he was on international duty for England.

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Sterling felt he was aiming for Euro 2016, and asked then-coach Neville how to deal with it.

“When I look back on that meeting and the words I used now, I feel like I’m upset,” Neville said Interview on Sky Sports.

“I think my primary concern is how other players have been abused, whether it be Paul Gascoigne or David Beckham or Wayne Rooney, but now I find and feel that it is totally inappropriate. I have failed to recognize the personal side.

“Those players have received abuse for football errors or football appearances. You get consistent abuse before the ball kicks in the tournament.

“I think at that moment, the response I gave you was not enough. I’m sorry for that.”

Sterling, who ever since Blacks are called upon to be better represented In positions of power in the game, he also remembers how hard it was to understand the abuse he received.

“I come from respect to you, but at the same time, you have no feeling or understanding of what it is like,” he told Neville in the same Sky Sports interview.

“I’m 21 and I think this is only my second tournament, so I don’t really understand what’s going on.”

Raheem Sterling scored the opening goal against Arsenal.

Meanwhile, the current gesture of solidarity made by Premier League players is widely supported on social media.

Musa Okwonga, Co-host of the Stadio Podcast, is not just a case of corporate gesture from the Premier League, but a real player-driven movement.

“The Premier League’s #BlackLivesMatter campaign is not an empty corporate message,” he wrote on Twitter.

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“It was pushed by players, especially Troy Deeney and Wes Morgan. Deaney was one of the smartest athletes I’ve interviewed on the historical roots of racism. It’s the power of the player.”

About the author

Niki J. Layton

Niki J. Layton

Niki J. Layton is a journalist who writes on politics, environment and human rights in South Asia.

For 15 years, she has written for several publications and websites including TIME, Harper's, Al Jazeera, The Caravan, The Hindu, Scroll.in, Outlook, The Wire, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Economic Times, Tehelka, and news channel CNN-IBN. She is an India correspondent for The Straits Times, Singapore.

Some of the awards she has received are the Red Cross Award for reporting on conflict, Mumbai press award for environmental reporting, and ILO award for writing on labour. Niki has a Masters in political journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York

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