Raheem Sterling of Manchester City will become a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) at the Queen’s Birthday Honors, which are awarded during the month of June each year as a part of the official birthday celebration for Queen Elizabeth II. The honors are given in recognition of the good works of citizens of the United Kingdom’s 16 Commonwealth realms.
Sterling, 26, will be recognized for his work in bringing racial equality and greater awareness of racism in sports. His battle against racism has brought him praise throughout the UK. In addition to this work, he has been instrumental in establishing a foundation for deprived children. The three-time Premier League champion said he wanted to create something “humungous” at the foundation, possible in regard to social mobility. According to a source quoted in The Sun newspaper, both Sterling and Jordan Henderson, Liverpool captain, have served as role models, standing up and being counted, and putting themselves at risk for their beliefs. Along with Marcus Rashford, these players have displayed a side of footballers that the public may not have known existed. Henderson will also receive an MBE at the Queen’s Birthday Honors for his role in creating the “Players Together” fund in which the captains of all the 20 Premier League teams made significant financial donations to the staff, volunteers, and patients of the National Health Service (NHS) during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The Queen’s Birthday Honors will be announced on Friday, June 18, 2021, and following the announcement, Henderson and Sterling will move on to their international duty of representing England at the European Championships.
Raheem Shaquille Sterling was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1994, to Jamaican parents. He moved to London when he was five years old and started his football career with the Queens Park Rangers before moving to Liverpool in 2010. He received the Golden Boy Award in 2014 and signed with Manchester City in 2015. He was named to the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for the 2018-2019 season and received the PFA Young Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year titles in the same period.
Sterling represents Jamaica as well as England and made his senior debut appearance for England in 2012. He was selected to England’s squads for the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and 2018 and for the UEFA Euro in 2016 and 2020. His middle name Shaquille was given to him by his grandmother who lived in the United States at the time he was born and wanted to name him after basketball star Shaquille O’Neal. Sterling was included on the list of the 100 Most Influential Black Britons and the annual Powerlist in both 2020 and 2021.
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