American and international cities, including London, witnessed demonstrations in the past days against the background of the murder of a black American citizen, George Floyd, by a white policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after putting his knee on his neck for minutes, despite his cries that he was unable to breathe.
Sterling, who has repeatedly expressed the need to combat racism in soccer fields, joined athletes who expressed their solidarity with Floyd, calling for his death as an opportunity for radical and wide-ranging changes.
“The protest is a great starting point, for the sound to be heard. But the protest alone will not make any change in this country (England),” he told the BBC.
“It is about how we go from here, by highlighting things (that must be changed), society needs to change, and then we work for that. We talked a lot, now is the time to work (…) This is the time to talk about these issues, about the absence of Justice, especially in the areas of (football)”.
Sterling touched on the vast difference between the large numbers of black or Asian stars in teams, and the very limited number of these in training sites or the managerial responsibility of clubs.
He explained, “There are about 500 players in the Premier League, a third of them are black, and there is no representation for us in the (administrative) hierarchy or in the technical staff”.
“With these demonstrations (…) it is time for talks, to start discussions,” he added, “but at the same time, meeting and finding a solution in order to bring about change, because we can talk as much as we want about the change and put black people in these centers that I see.” They should be in it, “but the conversation will not be enough to make these changes a reality.
Sterling, 25, was subjected to a series of racist abuse during his defense of the colors of his team or the English national team, and he was among the most prominent advocates of tougher penalties against clubs and countries whose fans commit such acts.