Dominic Calvert-Lewin believes the Premier League can be a powerful catalyst in fighting racism - and kickstart a “real big change in the world”.

The Everton striker feels that for the first time in his life, there has been “a movement of real significance towards the way we all want the world to be.”

And now he wants football to use the platform it commands, to take an even stronger stance against any forms of racism, by being tougher on racist incidents within the game.

Speaking ahead of the Merseyside derby, where both clubs will wear shirts with names replaced by the Black Lives Matter slogan, and both will ‘take a knee’, Calvert-Lewin explained that he feels real hope that change is finally coming.

All players in both Premier League matches on Wednesday took a knee before kick-off

“I think, for the first time in my life and in a long time, there has been a movement of real significance towards the way we all want the world to be,” he said.

‘In terms of football getting involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s a massive platform. Football is followed by millions of people all over the world. It’s a real platform for change.

“I think that makes the racism incidents that have happened in football that much more significant. For me, the disciplinary measures for racist incidents need to be tougher.

"I hope this movement can now kickstart a real big change in the world. We are all equal and that's the way it should be. We should all love each other as we love ourselves.”

All players have also worn shirts with Black Lives Matter replacing their names

Calvert-Lewin admits to experiencing real emotion at witnessing the horrific images of the death of George Floyd in America, who was killed in police custody when an officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

Playing for Everton and having the ‘star’ status of a Premier League footballer, he admits that he doesn’t experience racism in everyday life that so many millions across the globe suffer, and fear.

But he wants to use his own platform to support the fight against racism, and help generate real change in the world, which he believes is now coming thanks to the power of protest across the world.

“What happened to George Floyd in America made me very emotional. To see something like that in such graphic detail… it really hit home to me,” he said.

“I’m in a privileged position where I don’t really come across too much racism on a daily basis.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and his Everton teammates return to action on Sunday

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"But it’s so sad to see racism is very much still rife in the world. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing, but what I have really enjoyed seeing is my generation, as well as some of those who are older, protesting against it.”

Everton will return against their city rivals Liverpool on Sunday, and all the players involved will stand together in protest at the racist-inspired killing of black people across the world.

Both clubs have already offered support to the Black Lives Movement, and they will join the two halves of the city together, Blue and Red, to show a unified message to the millions watching across the world.