Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Ebony Rainford-Brent are among the high profile sports figures to receive MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List.
Sterling, who has won three Premier League titles with Manchester City, receives his honor for services to racial equality in sport, having spoken candidly on the issue of racism in the game.
“I’m grateful to have been recognized, but my priority is to try to help educate the company and myself,” Sterling said. “If it doesn’t start from within, then there is no way to help others. I am learning everyday.
“My motivation for racial equality is to get people to understand the challenges that people from diverse backgrounds face and to create an environment where everyone is equal. I think we’re starting to take a step in the right direction. direction, but we still have a lot of work to do. “
Liverpool captain Henderson, winner of the Champions League and Premier League in the past two years, receives his MBE for his athletic achievements as well as in recognition of his role in forming a charity fund, Players Together , which supported the good causes of the NHS during the first containment coronavirus pandemic last spring.
After thanking those who made the initiative a success, Henderson said: “I dedicate this to all nurses, doctors, caregivers, porters, administrative workers, cleaners, security personnel and to everyone who dedicates their career and his life making the NHS the part of British life we are rightly proud of as a nation. “
England cricketer-turned-commentator Ebony Rainford-Brent becomes an MBE for working hard against racism in her sport, speaking forcefully and memorably about her own experiences with former West Indies bowler Michael Holding as part of the cover of Sky Sports last summer.
She was also recognized for her work with the ACE Charity program, which was founded in January 2020 to engage young people of African and Caribbean descent following a 75% drop in the number of UK professional cricketers. black.
“You never can imagine the day you hit your first ball that you’ll get that kind of recognition,” Rainford-Brent told Sky Sports.
“It’s been an amazing year. Everything from working on the ACE program to my career as a broadcaster and feature film with Michael Holding showing the direction of the trip.
“I am truly honored and hope to continue using my platform for good.”
Former England manager Roy Hodgson and tennis player Sue Barker have received CBEs for their respective contributions to the sport.
Hodgson, 73, has led England in two European Championships, in 2012 and 2016, entering the first of those in the short term following the resignation of Fabio Capello. He also managed England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when the team were knocked out after two games.
He retired from top management at the end of the 2020-21 season, having last worked at Crystal Palace.
Barker, 65, left Britain to train in the United States at the age of 17 and enjoyed a successful playing career, with victory at Roland Garros 1976 as a highlight. She switched to broadcasting after an injury cut her career short.
“It is an absolute honor to receive a CBE,” said Barker. “Having your work recognized in this way brings such a sense of pride. All of my family and I are thrilled, especially my mom who turns 100 next week.”
Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield, who was already an MBE, has now been awarded an OBE. He has been recognized for his successful career on and off the pitch in the rugby league, but also for raising over £ 2million for research into motor neuron disease, a condition that has affected his friend and former teammate Rhinos Rob Burrow.
Sinfield completed the “7 in 7” challenge – seven marathons in seven days – last December, helping to raise funds for research on MND, which has no known cure, and supporting those like Burrow who live. with the disease. Sinfield said in April he was planning a new challenge to raise even more funds later this year.
Former England and Crystal Palace midfielder Geoff Thomas was also named MBE for his work in raising funds for cancer treatment and research through the Geoff Thomas Foundation, after having himself was diagnosed with leukemia in 2003.
Women’s sport is well represented on the list, with Kelly Simmons – the Football Association’s director of women’s professional football – earning an OBE, and England’s rugby union vice-captain Emily Scarratt doing an MBE with her coach – national team leader Simon Middleton.
Also in the rugby union, there is an MBE for former Wales Lions and British and Irish Lions forward Ryan Jones.
Former Olympians Jeanette Kwakye (athletics) and Melanie Marshall (swimming) are also in the spotlight with MBEs, while former NBA basketball star Luol Deng, who moved to London after escaping a civil war in his native South Sudan, receives an OBE.
Those working to make sport a more diverse place are also well represented.
Rimla Akhtar, co-founder of the Muslim Women In Sport Network, receives an OBE for services rendered to equality and diversity in sport.
Leon Mann, founder of the Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) which aims to bring greater diversity to sports media, is appointed MBE.