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Manchester City Stars Speak Up Against Racism

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus speak on racism.

Manchester City v Stoke City - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The problem of racism has been on the front burner in the world for the last week. This is as a result of the killing of a black man named George Floyd in the United States by a white Minneapolis policeman who knelt on his neck until he died.

A series of protests have erupted in different parts of the US and around the world as a result. Many black people have used the opportunity to vent their frustrations at the continued existence of inequality in society.

Several sports stars have also spoken up in support of the protests. In football, players like Kylian Mbappe, Jadon Sancho, Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram have shown solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement in different ways and paid tribute to the late Floyd.

Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus has added his voice to the crusade on social media.

The Brazilian striker has also been subjected to racism before and has used this opportunity to voice out his frustrations and condemnation of the behaviour. Jesus believes in peaceful protests aimed at highlighting the prevalence of the problem. As a black player, he has borne the pain of being subjected to racist abuse even while playing for his country.

“Racism isn’t a problem that only started in recent days and it isn’t normal, so people do feel that they have had enough, and they have exploded,” he said, in a recent interview.

“I’m against violence or any sort of violent protest. I’m all in favour of peaceful protests in order to say ‘no to racism’ and whenever we say ‘Black Lives Matter’, we should also read it correctly and understand the meaning behind it. We aren’t saying that other lives don’t matter, but we are saying that the lives of black people who feel racism, matter.

“We can’t generalise it. Not everyone is racist, the majority aren’t, but lots of people are and it’s like they haven’t got brains.

“So, when we use that sentence it’s because we know what it is to be a victim of racism. It is painful to feel it.

“I have suffered a couple of times. I’ve managed to elevate myself [above it]. On one occasion, I was in Uruguay whilst competing for the Libertadores Cup.

Raheem Sterling spoke out over the weekend and delivered a very poignant message-

“The only disease right now is the racism that we are fighting,” he told the BBC in an interview to be broadcast on Monday. “Just like the [new coronavirus] pandemic, we want to find a solution to stop it.”

“At the same time, this is what all these protesters are doing. They are trying to find a solution and a way to stop the injustice they are seeing and they are fighting for their cause,” he added.”

“As long as they are doing it peacefully and safely and not hurting anybody and not breaking into any stores, they continue to protest in this peaceful way.”

“And at this moment in time, there’s only so much people can take. There’s only so much communities and other backgrounds can take — especially black people.

“It’s been going on for hundreds of years and people are tired and people are ready for change.

“We need to actually implement change and highlight the places that do need changes,”

“But this is something that I myself will continue to do, and spark these debates and get people in my industry looking at themselves and thinking what they can do to give people an equal chance in this country.

“Hopefully other industries can do that, and everyday society and the system as well.”

It’s rather unfortunate that the world is still grappling with the problem of racism in 2020.

Although the policeman and his colleagues involved in the George Floyd case are being prosecuted, a lot more will need to be done to tame this monster.

Education will play a key role in helping to solve the problem, as well as police reform.