(Reuters) - Manchester City's England forward Raheem Sterling has been awarded The Integrity and Impact Award at this year's BT Sport Industry Awards for speaking out on a range of social issues, including racism.
Sterling was recognized for his fight against racism in the sport and for using his platform to call for more action to be taken. He had said this month that more players needed to speak out when they suffered racism to eradicate it from the game.
The 24-year-old also signed a manifesto earlier this week where he said clubs should be handed automatic nine-point deductions and ordered to play three games behind closed doors if their supporters indulged in racist behavior.
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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," Dow Jones head of sport Simon Greenberg said in a statement issued on Thursday.
"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 building a new atmosphere in the dressing room which helped his team reach the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)