Football Black List celebrates diversity, says Premier League
The Football Black List celebrates sport's positive influencers from the black community
Last Updated: 22/11/19 3:59pm
The Premier League's director of policy, Bill Bush, says the Football Black List helps push diversity in the game but admits further progress is required.
The initiative was established by Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds in 2008 in an attempt to highlight the positive contributions made by British people from African and Caribbean backgrounds, both on and off the pitch.
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"A black contribution on or off the pitch deserves to be celebrated and we want to be part of that," Bush told Sky Sports News.
"The second thing the Black List does is challenge - it says quite nicely but quite firmly there is lot more still to be done and we are so up for it.
"This is not just one night in November - this is about a year-round attitude that we want to have, informed by Black List, pushed by Black List organisers to do a lot better.
"There is so much more to do."
Mann sees the initiative as an opportunity for black youngsters to discover positive role models they may not previously have been aware of in order to help improve diversity in football.
"I want young black kids to look at awards like Black List and ask, 'who's that', hit Google, look at our website and learn about the lawyers, doctors, community workers and all those people doing incredible jobs and inspire young people to get involved in football," he said.
"We'll then see greater diversity, which I think everybody in the game wants."
The achievements of the late Justin Fashanu, the first openly gay professional player and Benjamin Odeje, the first black player to represent England at any level, were celebrated as they won the Keith Alexander awards for outstanding contributions to the game and the black community.
Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling was among those nominated in the Cyrille Regis Player category but it was Chelsea Women's Anita Asante who picked up the accolade.
Click here for more details of the Football Black List.