Premier League taken a 'massive step' by allowing players to support Black Lives Matter movement – Sterling

Omnisport

Manchester City star Raheem Sterling said the Premier League has taken a "massive step" by allowing players to show their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sterling and his team-mates joined opponents Arsenal in taking a knee prior to kick-off of Wednesday's Premier League contest, which City won 3-0.

Aston Villa and Sheffield United also made the gesture, which was first made by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016, and has been used as a prominent symbol at protests in the United States and the wider world since the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis last month.

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Sterling has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Movement and has regularly spoken out against racism in society.

The England forward said the Premier League allowing such actions is a sign of progress.

"I see it as a massive step from the Premier League to allow something like that to happen," he told Sky Sports.

"It shows we're going in the right direction and little by little we're seeing change and that's what everyone is hoping for not just black players, I think the majority of the country, so it was great to see.

"I think it was just natural, it was organic, that's the important thing, we saw the teams do it in the early kick-off, it was something we felt we had to do as well."

Sterling opened the scoring shortly before half-time at the Etihad Stadium in City's first match back since the Premier League's three-month suspension as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was Sterling's first goal of 2020 but he always knew chances would present themself.

"Yeah, it's something I beat myself up about, but I knew at some point I'd get an opportunity I just needed to take it, then I did that today," he added.

Kevin De Bruyne doubled the lead from the penalty spot after David Luiz, who was at fault for City's first goal, was sent off for bringing down Riyad Mahrez.

Phil Foden scored a third in the first of 11 minutes of additional time, the lengthy added period occurring due to a lengthy delay when Eric Garcia was hurt in an ugly collision with team-mate Ederson.

"Eric had a fantastic game, came in really well, composed, I sad to see him go off like that," Sterling said. 

"I saw him on the pitch he looked pretty bad but then after that he looked himself a bit more, but only time will tell [how severe the injury is]."

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