Ahead of the FA Cup final, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has told Nikki Lilly that it’s important for kids to speak out if they suffer racist abuse.
It’s been an enormous year for the England international footballer. Last summer he was integral to England reaching the World Cup semi-finals.
He’s recently won the Premier League with Manchester City, and he was crowned the Young Premier League Player of the Year. Off the pitch he’s become a leading voice against racism in football and in society.
Sterling was speaking to Nikki Lilly as part of the CBBC programme, Nikki Lilly Meets.
Raheem against racism
Nikki asked Sterling if he had any advice for kids who have also suffered racist abuse.
Sterling said: “Don’t keep it to yourself, it’s one of the worst things you can do, best thing to do is speak to someone you are close with and trust, get your feelings known.
“I was that 12 year old kid who didn’t like talking. When you are older you realise that you do need to do these things – to talk to someone in school, your Mum or someone else you trust.
“Don’t let them win, get the issue sorted. The longer you leave it the worse it will be”, he added.
Raheem on role models
Sterling told Nikki that one of his biggest inspirations in his life is his mum: “She’s a massive supporter, she’s mentally stronger. She’s been through a lot and given me motivation. When things are hard I think, what would she do?”
He said that the most expensive thing he’d ever bought was a house for his mum: “That was my number one goal – to make sure my Mum has something when she is ready to retire so that no one can knock at her door and say ‘where’s the rent?'”
“It’s hers. So that’s my biggest achievement”, he added.
Raheem on childhood memories
“The most obvious one is Christmas time – massive Jamaican food that can last you for 2-3 days”, Sterling told Nikki.
“I remember one Christmas going to my local chicken shop on the high-street. I don’t know why it was open. I rode my BMX up there, came home and got a drilling from my Mum. I still ate my Christmas dinner as well”, he added.