Manchester City and England star, Raheem Sterling, has today been named on the Football Black List – an initiative celebrating the most influential black people in the British game.
Sterling makes the list for his stance on addressing racism in football and how he used his profile and platform to raise awareness of how black people can be misrepresented in the media.
The Football Black List, founded in 2008 by sports journalists Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds, highlights positive influencers from the black community in the sport.
A panel of experts from the community and football industry looked at a long list of nominations before a voting process decided who made the final list. The panel included representation from the Premier League, The Football Association, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers Association, English Football League and Kick It Out.
Others on the list include Liverpool’s Champions League winner, Sadio Mane, for his charity work in Senegal, Tottenham Hotspur and England full back, Danny Rose, for raising awareness of mental health issues in sport, and Michael Johnson, who led Guyana to their first major tournament and is now part of the England Under 21s coaching set up.
The list also features an all female Administration section with Birmingham City COO, Lungi Macebo and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation CEO, Sarah Ebanja, among the quintet in the category. For the first time in the 11 year history of list half of those celebrated are women.
The Voice Newspaper is the home of the Football Black List which also shines a light on deserving people working at the community and grassroots level of the game who often go uncelebrated.
The initiative creates an opportunity to reflect on diversity within the industry, while also facilitating discussions on how best to address the under-representation of people from African-Caribbean backgrounds.
The list recognises people across seven categories:
The Ugo Ehiogu ‘Ones to Watch’ category – which identifies talented, young people in the industry under 30 years of age – will be released next week.
The Keith Alexander award winners – for services to the black community and football industry – will be announced on the eve of the awards celebration, supported by the Premier League, which takes place on the 21st November in central London.
Leon Mann, co-founder of the Football Black List, 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 down played.
“We are delighted to have another incredible list that will help to inspire the next generation of young black people to get involved in all areas of the game. It’s particularly special this year that half of the list is female.”
Fellow co-founder of the initiative, Rodney Hinds, added: “It is fantastic to see that some 50 per cent of this year’s list is female. It shows the progress that is being made within the game, however slowly.
“Raheem should be congratulated for the positive strides he his making, on and off-field.
“Football needs more like him in terms of taking a consistent stand on important subjects.”
Please find the full Football Black List below: