Anthony Joshua praises Raheem Sterling for footballer’s fight against racism
Like many other high-profile sportsmen and women, the heavyweight champion hasn’t been afraid to speak out on social issues and is determined to use his lofty platform to instill change.
It’s a philosophy that’s been mirrored by England and Manchester City star Raheem Sterling,
who has emerged as football’s unofficial spokesperson in the battle against racism — calling out the media and governing bodies for a lack of action.
“I feel like our parents’ generation has been sleeping to a certain degree, conditioned to be scared to speak up about certain issues,” Joshua told CNN Sport’s Don Riddell, commenting about the increase in athletes speaking out.
“They are now becoming smarter, wiser and sharper and being able to discuss their situation.”
Praise for Sterling
Sterling and his England teammates were subjected to racist abuse
during a Euro 2020 qualifying match in Montenegro in March and Juventus’ teenage striker Moise Kean
endured monkey chants from opposition fans in May.
Recently, English Premier League striker Troy Deeney joined Sterling in a 24-hour boycott
of social media platforms, in protest against the lack of action being taken in response to racism.
Deeney also felt it necessary to turn off comments on his Instagram posts due to abuse he received in April.
“To me this isn’t a game, when you racially abuse my family or myself I have to take measures to prevent young people seeing these comments and thinking that it’s acceptable,” said Deeney on social media
The 30-year-old is close friends with Joshua due to their respective associations with Watford — Joshua is from the town and Deeney captains the current side.
“The guys are getting a lot smarter. It’s not just about kicking a football anymore and being a good footballer, it’s about being an ambassador of football,” Joshua said, speaking about those players who have taken on a more activist role.
‘My natural instinct would be to punch him’
Joshua was born in Watford, just outside London, to Nigerian parents, and the African country has been a strong influence throughout his life
The fighter has a tattoo of Africa etched on his right shoulder, with Nigeria visibly outlined.
Given his physical presence, would be racists might think twice before abusing Joshua. Turns out though the boxer would be more interested in using words rather his hands in dealing with any such flashpoint.
“If someone is racist to me as a boxer, my natural instinct would be to punch him in his face and kick him while he’s down,” he said.
“But what I am going to do is speak to you about who I am, where I’ve come from and what my lineage is about.
“I want to show you why the names and the slurs that you call me have no relevance to who I am as a person.”
‘Try to educate them’
History shows a plethora of athletes using their platforms to call for change, not least in boxing where Muhammad Ali set a precedent for all others to follow.
However, Joshua believes easy access to information is helping the new generation of athlete ambassadors find their voice and share it more efficiently.
“I just feel it’s just a lack of understanding and knowledge,” he said.
“What you shouldn’t do is look at the people who are racist and belittle them, you take them under your wing and try to educate them.”
“It’s not just about what someone’s telling you, it’s about what you’ve researched as well so you can counter the argument.”
California restaurants can now add a 1% surcharge to help fight climate change
The money will go to a public fund that helps farmers who use practices that reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
It would still be optional for customers, but if all diners at a certain eatery pay it, the haul would be more than enough to make the establishment carbon neutral, Anthony Myint, an organizer of the initiative, told CNN.
Myint is a restauranteur who started a non-profit that’s behind the program.
For years, Myint has had success in the culinary world, stemming from his restaurant, Mission Chinese Food. The restaurant has locations in New York and San Francisco and has garnered awards, and in 2013 was named to Bon Appetit’s list
of the “20 Most Important Restaurants in America.”
The San Francisco branch is in the city’s Mission district and carried a social mission as well, donating 75 cents from every meal to a local food bank.
After Myint’s daughter was born seven years ago, life changed. Concerned about her future, he said he and his wife thought deeply about how to preserve the world in which they wanted her to live. For the couple, that meant fighting climate change.
Starting with the industry they knew best, they built a project in 2013 called Zero Foodprint
to help restaurants assess, reduce and offset their carbon footprints. Since the program’s inception, 27 restaurants around the world have joined their carbon neutral commitment.
Restaurants across California can get involved
Their new initiative, the Restore California Renewable Restaurant program, launched Tuesday and is open to restaurant owners across the state.
Myint said Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant in Los Angeles is one of several restaurants that has already jumped on board.
He said he hopes restaurants will proudly display the Restore California logo in their window or on their website, like others do now with a LEED or Fair Trade certification. The goal would be to drive more traffic to restaurants that have made a choice to help the environment.
Payments would go to to the California Air Resources Board
to fund programs promoting healthier soil at farms and ranches around the state.
According to the Perennial Farming Initiative, which hosts the program, returning carbon to the soil can improve the crops’ resilience, flavor, nutrient density and tolerance to droughts.
Myint said he believes that improved farming processes are the future. “In 20 years, people will think of composting the way they think about recycling now,” he said.
Promoting sustainable farming practices
In the restaurant industry, fighting climate change isn’t about what ingredients chefs use. “It’s how they’re produced,” Myint said.
And that means contributing to farms that are producing food in ways that don’t add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Subsidies for food produced by industrial farms makes them artificially cheap, but the money from the restaurants’ extra upcharge can help sustainable farms stay competitive.
“It’s an exciting and enthusiastic approach to climate change,” Myint said. “You’re contributing with things that you like.”