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Raheem Sterling says 'society must grow up' and tackle racism

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Raheem Sterling has hit out at those racially abusing footballers online, and says society must 'grow up'

Raheem Sterling has called on society to "wake up" and realise footballers are "human beings just doing their jobs" as players continue to be racially abused.

A number of players, including Sterling's fellow England internationals Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham, have been targeted online after missing penalties this season.

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was also racially abused by Cagliari fans during a Serie A match last week, and Sterling says things must change.

He told Sky Sports News: "It's easy to say what happens next but there's a lot of people behind a computer screen. Those are the ones that are disappointing and feel they can get away with stuff like this.

"We are in 2019 and we're still talking about this. I can't say I have the answer to stop it but as a society we need to nail down on this.

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Highlights from England’s Euro 2020 Qualifiers match against Bulgaria at Wembley

"The people doing it need to wake up and understand it's a new era and discrimination is not something anybody should face.

"We need to grow up as a society and realise we're only out here doing our jobs. We are human beings and we have feelings.

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"It's a touchy subject but I can't tell you I've got the exact answer. But as a society we need to do better and appreciate each other more."

Sterling has been outspoken in calling out racism during his career, and called for Montenegro to be handed a stadium ban after he was one of a number of England players to be racially abused during the team's win there last season.

Rashford: Racism too easy

Speaking before England's 4-0 win over Bulgaria on Saturday, Marcus Rashford called on social media companies to do more to prevent their users racially abusing others online.

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Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford believes if social media users had to use their real identities then online racism would be easy to police

"For me, it's too easy to do whatever you like on the internet," Rashford said. "Any of us now could go on and create accounts and write what we want under anybody's posts and nobody would ever know.

"The solution is easy to figure out - if you had to show identification to create an account that means everybody can only have one account.

"For me, there's hundreds of thousands of people that use my name on social media and they can write what they like.

"But people are speaking out and people are listening so hopefully we can put it right."

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