England's Sterling honoured for speaking out against racism, other social issues
Manchester City's England forward Raheem Sterling has been awarded The Integrity and Impact Award at the BT Sport Industry Awards for speaking out on social issues including racism.
Sterling was recognised for his fight against racism in the sport and calls for more action to be taken. The England international said this month that more players needed to speak out when they were victims of racism in order to eradicate it from the game.
Earlier this week, the 24-year-old signed a manifesto in which he said clubs should be handed automatic nine-point deductions and ordered to play three games behind closed doors if their supporters displayed racist behaviour.
Dow Jones Sports Intelligence, the founder of the award, congratulated Sterling for the impact his actions had in addressing racism and other "social issues of diversity and inclusivity."
"He has given new confidence and a voice to other footballers and athletes to speak out when once they may not have done so," head of sport Simon Greenberg said.
"He has sparked the sports media and the industry more widely to consider conscious or sub-conscious racial bias in their actions."
Sterling was presented with the award by England manager Gareth Southgate, who received the Leadership in Sport Award on behalf of the FA for helping his team reach the World Cup semifinals.
Meanwhile, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has urged players to submit evidence of online racial abuse they have suffered in order to highlight the problem to governing bodies.
The PFA said it would present the evidence to the Football Association and the government and had arranged meetings with Twitter and Facebook.
It follows a number of high-profile incidents this season that led to some players boycotting social media for 24 hours under the PFA's #enough campaign.
"We are preparing to take our anti-racism message to government and social networks and have asked members to submit any evidence of racist abuse received online to an email address set up specifically for this purpose," a PFA statement said.