This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has been named on a list of Britain’s most influential black footballers. The annual Football Black List recognises the efforts of black players for their help in various areas on and off the pitch.
Sterling is joined by the likes of Sadio Mane, Danny Rose and Eniola Aluko for their positive impacts. The co-founder of the Football Black List Leon Mann said: “Raheem has made such a huge impact in the last year, on and off the pitch.
“His vital words and actions in confronting issues of racism and how the black community is treated cannot be downplayed.”
Sterling has long been a media target for defamatory stories, but the manner in which he has approached the subject has been nothing short of unbelievable.
It was not long ago that he posted a profound message on Instagram targeting the media agenda against black athletes, which has sparked a nationwide change ever since.
Sterling put forth examples of how black footballers received different treatment from newspapers compared to that of white players. His words have stimulated a marked shift in attitudes throughout the British media, with Sky Sports dedicating plenty more coverage towards the topic thereafter.
Ever since his Instagram post, Sterling has been subject to more racist abuse in Bulgaria with England.
His incredible willpower to ignore such awful chanting was something that should one day put him in the New Year Honours list. Sterling would also hit out at Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci after his comments on Moise Kean, saying “all you can do is laugh now“.
There is absolutely no doubt that Sterling is a role model on and off the pitch, and no matter who you support, it is an absolute delight to see him ranked as one of the world’s best right now.
Plus, his impact off the pitch is truly remarkable in the midst of such rancid abuse.
He is a true national treasure and fully deserves his recognition.