The 24-year-old was presented with the Integrity and Impact Award by England manager Gareth Southgate at the ceremony in London on Thursday.
Sterling has highlighted media coverage of black players on his Instagram account and called on the game’s authorities to clamp down on racist abuse, with team-mates Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi subjected to monkey chants during England’s Euro 2020 qualifier away to Montenegro last month.
Nick Keller, the chairman of the Sport Industry Group, said: “The athletes’ voice continues to have a powerful impact across the field of sport and beyond, with athletes like Raheem Sterling doing so much to raise the profile of the issues that affect us.
“With such a lack of leadership in public life, we see athletes making a stand for real change as something to be recognised and rewarded.”
Southgate, along with the FA and the rest of England’s 2018 World Cup squad, received the Leadership in Sport Award.
Tweeting after the ceremony, Sterling said receiving the award was a “true honour”.
“A true honour. Thank you for all the praises,” he said.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) April 25, 2019