Marcus Rashford says it is “becoming more normal” for his generation of footballers to campaign on social issues.
The government extended a free school meals scheme outside term time on Tuesday after Manchester United and England forward Rashford wrote to MPs.
Several footballers, most notably Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, have spoken out about racism following the death of American George Floyd and the Black Lives Matters protests.
Rashford used his platform as a high-profile footballer to help get publicity and support for the campaign, which will benefit around 1.3 million children in England.
“It’s becoming more normal that people speak out on topics that they believe in and I think it’s just positive for the future,” Rashford, 22, told BBC Breakfast.
“Just look at the generations after us – hopefully it becomes a normal thing and people actually want to do that and put themselves forward to do that.”
Rashford said he was “shocked” and “grateful” that the government reversed its decision following his campaign.
He spoke to Boris Johnson on Tuesday and said the Prime Minister thanked him “for using what I’ve built in a positive manner”.
“It’s a nice feeling but I’m happy that people’s lives are going to be changed for the better so that was the important thing that I tried to change,” added Rashford.
“It’s obviously a proud moment.”
During his campaign to help stop food poverty, Rashford spoke about the sacrifices his mother made when he was a child and how trying to feed her family “kept her up” at night.
“She rang me about 10 times today,” Rashford said.
“She’s very happy. Maybe if someone had spoken about it when she was going through it then the situation would’ve been different.
“I think she’s just happy people are aware of it now and people are going to try and help them as much as they can. She’s just happy that we’re taking steps in the right direction.”