RAHEEM STERLING has said that t-shirts and social media boycotts are not enough to tackle racism in football.
The Manchester City and England star has been praised for speaking out against racism and calling on football authorities to do more to address it.
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival in New York on Tuesday, Sterling said: “Teams getting points deductions, getting kicked out… this is when people start taking it seriously.”
He revealed that after he spoke out about racism following an incident of abuse during a match in December, he was approached by senior football
“After the situation at Chelsea they came to me with an idea, but I did not agree with the idea.
“It was a social media blackout. I just said to them I simply don’t agree with what you want to put out – it is a social media post it’s going to happen for one day. In two days’ time it’s all be forgotten about.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association organised a 24-hour social media boycott in April. The action coincided with the launch of its anti-racism campaign, #Enough.
Answering questions from The Wall Street Journal’s global sports editor, Bruce Orwall, Sterling also shared his thoughts on the effectiveness Kick It Out, the anti-discrimination organisation.
While he acknowledged that Kick It Out “do a lot in England”, he also said: “A few times they get us to wear a t-shirt, but again it is not enough. There needs to be harder punishments.”
Sterling says that his busy schedule has prevented him from spending a lot of time discussing racism in the sport and possible solutions with football bosses but that he plans to do so in the near future.
“In my off time and holidays if I can get around and speak to the Football Association and the people in the Premier League and see how we can go about doing things better in the future, for sure I’ll be there in person to try and do that,” he said.