Rashford meets former US President Obama

Friday 28 May 2021 09:44

President Barack Obama and Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford MBE have met for the first time, in a Zoom conversation organised by Penguin Books.

The two men discussed some of the themes in the President’s memoir, A Promised Land, including the power that young people have to make change, the positive impact that reading can have and the importance of giving back to your local community.

They also talked about some shared experiences – being raised by single mothers, the moment they each discovered their love of reading, their drive to give something back to the communities they were raised in.

The conversation, which was moderated by broadcaster and author June Sarpong OBE, will be released in full on Penguin UK’s YouTube at 2pm on Friday 28 May.  The conversation will also be released as a Penguin podcast at 2pm on Friday 28 May.


During the call, President Obama talked about how young people can make change through small gestures, saying ‘even if you do something positive on a small scale, that’s making a difference, and it’s the accumulation of people doing positive things over time that makes us a little bit better with each successive generation.’ 

Both President Obama and Marcus Rashford discussed the positive impact that reading had had on their lives, with Rashford stating ‘Through books, you can grow yourself in whichever way you want…. Books allowed me to do it my own way.’
Marcus Rashford MBE said: “I mean, it's quite surreal isn't it? I'm sitting in my kitchen in Manchester, speaking to President Obama. But, immediately, he made me feel at ease. It wasn't long before I realised just how aligned our experiences as children were in shaping the men you see today - adversity, obstacles and all. I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it. When President Obama speaks, all you want to do is listen.”

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