Raheem Sterling says players kneeling 'shows we’re going in the right direction'

Premier League Players Kneeling

Manchester City and England’s Raheem Sterling has told Sky Sports that players taking the knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the opening games of the Premier League’s return was a “massive step” 

Last night saw the return of the Premier League after a 100-day break due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A moment’s silence was held ahead of both games to recognise NHS frontline staff and those who had lost their lives during the pandemic, with all players shirts bearing an NHS logo.   

In a poignant moment, players showed their ongoing support for the racial equality movement ‘Black Lives Matter’, following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in America, who died as a result of a white police officer holding a knee on his neck for almost 9 minutes.

Players and staff from Sheffield United, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as match officials, all knelt as their matches began. All 22 players in both games had their names replaced by ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back of their shirts.  

PFA member Sterling told Sky Sports: “Little by little we’re seeing change. It was natural, it was organic. We saw the teams do it in the earlier kick-off and thought it was something we had to do as well. It shows we’re going in the right direction”  

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said: “White people should say sorry for the way we have treated black people for 400 years. I am ashamed of what we have done to black people around the world. It is not only in the USA where it has happened. The problem is everywhere. 

Maybe for our generation it is too late but for the following generations, they can understand the only race is ourselves. We are human beings.”