Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling says tackling racism is the most important issue society faces.
The 25-year-old voiced his support of the anti-racism protests that have spread across the United States and Europe in response to George Floyd’s death.
Although the coronavirus pandemic is still going on, large crowds have gathered in cities all over the world to call for action against police brutality and discrimination
Sterling says standing up to racism is more important than the danger posed by Covid-19 and urged people to do it peacefully.
“I know this might sound a little bit cheesy but the only disease right now is the racism that we are fighting,” Sterling told BBC Newsnight.
“This is the most important thing at this moment in time because this is something that is happening for years and years.
“Just like the 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.
“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.”
The England international says he does not fear putting his career at risk by speaking out about the issue and warned that protesting can only go so far.
“I don’t really think about my job when things like this happen, I think about what’s right.
“There’s only so much communities and other backgrounds can take – especially black people,” he said.
“It’s been going on for hundreds of years and people are tired and people are ready for change.
“This is something that needs more than just talking. We need to actually implement change and highlight the places that do need changes.
“But this is something that I will continue to do, 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.”