Lucas Radebe praises Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford; says Premier League can play role in Black Lives Matter movement
Radebe tells Sky Sports News: "I was really impressed with Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling to stand up, especially as young as they are"
By Tim Thornton, Sky Sports News reporter
Last Updated: 16/06/20 10:34pm
Leeds United legend Lucas Radebe says the Premier League can play a massive role in the Black Lives Matter movement and has praised Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford for using their platform to influence positive change in society.
A number of Premier League players have voiced their support for the movement and protests in recent weeks following the death of George Floyd in the United States.
Premier League players' names will be replaced on the back of their shirts with 'Black Lives Matter' for the first 12 games when the season restarts, and Radebe believes that will create a message which will extend beyond football.
"That is absolutely powerful, it goes all the way around the world," Radebe told Sky Sports News.
"People realise now that this is the time where people should be united for one great cause and it's the most powerful statement that the Premier League has taken. And I hope it will bring peace and harmony to all the people affected.
"We are still suffering from social injustice, and I think this has really deep scars in people minds and hearts, to see that's still happening and we are still fighting the racial lines - it's a horrible thing.
"Let's leave the talks aside and let's act. The way the Premier League is acting is very encouraging. It's a great movement and we have to all act for unity and peace."
Radebe has also praised Sterling and Rashford for using their platform to influence meaningful change in recent weeks.
Sterling recently called for English football to address the lack of black representation in positions of power within the game, while Rashford also took to social media to post powerful anti-racism messages.
The Manchester United forward has also successfully campaigned for the government to extend its free school meal voucher scheme, which will see meals provided to around 1.3 million children during the summer holidays.
"I was really impressed with Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling to stand up, especially as young as they are," Radebe said.
"We need them to stand up and lead by example, which is fantastic."
'The Premier League misses Leeds United'
Leeds restart their Championship season on Sunday when they travel to Cardiff and have nine games left to play in the delayed campaign.
Radebe - who made 256 for Leeds between 1994 and 2005 - believes they must make the most of the opportunity to finish the season off by securing a long-awaited return to the Premier League.
"This is the year when Leeds United have to come up," said the former centre-back.
"Andrea Radrizzani has changed the club as a whole and instilled a winning mentality. The Premier League misses Leeds United and I think they will be able to challenge for prizes if they come up.
"Once the club does well the city buzzes and we need that back and I'm sure this is the year for that to happen."