Raheem Sterling is taking his narrative into his own hands. After suffering years of petty, pejorative and prejudiced treatment from the media, the England star broke rank last year and called out newspapers for how they’ve portrayed young black athletes in this country.

Sterling’s takedown—eloquent, thoughtful, and passionate—came just days after he was racially abused in Manchester City’s away game at Premier League rivals Chelsea. The 24-year-old’s response to the incident, and the way he challenged prejudice in the media, has forced the world to recognise the type of person he actually is. The ironic thing is that the “new Raheem Sterling” isn’t actually new at all.

Raheem Sterling has always cared about community. He made a substantial donation to those who were affected by the Grenfell tragedy in 2017, and last year he invested in a football academy for disadvantaged children in his home of North London. Sterling is an athlete who pushes culture forward, and he’s finally getting his props.

We caught up with Raheem as he linked up with Nike to launch the new Air Max 720, to talk about his impact on the culture and dripping excellence on and off the pitch.