Sterling voted as player of the year by soccer writers

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              Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates before his goal was disallowed for offside against Manchester City's Sergio Aguero following a VAR review during the Champions League quarterfinal, second leg, soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
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LONDON (AP) — Raheem Sterling was voted player of the year by soccer writers on Monday for his impact on Manchester City’s bid for a domestic treble as well as his influential stance against racism in the game.

Sterling won 62% of the votes cast by more than 400 British-based members of the Football Writers’ Association. Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, who was voted player of the year by his fellow players last week, was second.

The forward has scored 29 goals for City and England’s national team this season. He has been a key part of the City team that has won the English League Cup, is in the final of the FA Cup, and is at the top of the Premier League with two games left.

Sterling also has been praised for speaking out against racism in soccer, notably in an Instagram post in December after he was racially abused by a fan in a league match at Chelsea. Sterling said British newspapers are helping to “fuel racism” with their “unacceptable” portrayal of black players.

FWA chairwoman Carrie Brown said Sterling’s award “recognizes the huge impact of Raheem’s courage to challenge preconceptions and fight racism, which will leave a legacy not just for future generations in football but society as a whole. Eyes have been opened, voices found, we are listening.”

Nikita Parris, who also plays for Man City, was voted women’s player of the year by FWA members.