Wed. Jun 29th, 2022

Sky Sports

“They’re not only magnificent footballers, they’ve got a social conscience and they’ve got massive platforms where when they say something, people listen, and that’s what happens nowadays,” says Ian Wright of England pair Rashford and Sterling.

Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling have changed the perception of Black footballers but continued progress in the fight against racism is only possible “when white people get involved”, says Ian Wright.

Manchester United forward Rashford was made an MBE last year for services to vulnerable children in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic, while Manchester City player Sterling received the same recognition for services to equality in sport.

Despite persistent examples of racial discrimination in football, former Arsenal striker Wright, 57, thinks positive developments are being made but would like action to be swifter.

“Back in our day, if you got racially abused or something, you’d have to deal with that yourself but now that can’t happen,” Wright told PA Media.

“It’s people like Marcus Rashford, he changed the course of how people write about Black players, and Raheem Sterling – that’s power. They’ve got that power.

“They’re not only magnificent footballers, they’ve got a social conscience and they’ve got massive platforms where when they say something, people listen, and that’s what happens nowadays.

And what you see is everybody comes together when this happens now and this is how things change. Things are moving, not as quickly as they should be, but they are moving.

Things only change when white people get involved. If it was down to Black people, we would still be (constantly) being racially abused. We can’t change it alone.”

Wright was speaking as he marked the ongoing Black History Month by celebrating three generations of footballers in a short film made alongside son Shaun Wright-Phillips and grandson D’Margio Wright-Phillips.

By Nwosu Chizoba David

Nwosu Chizoba David is an entertainment and football lover, promoter, analyst and writer. He aspires to make a name in the media company. He is the CEO of Soccercruz (News site, Podcast, Radio and Television). email: zobanwosu88@gmail.com, phone number: +2348063046744.

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