The last two weeks have seen campaigns gain momentum across the globe following the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in America.
A host of high-profile people in the world of sport have spoken out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and Southgate thinks this could be a catalyst for change.
“It has triggered a reaction around the world,” the Three Lions boss, who has had to deal with racism after his team were targeted in Montenegro and Bulgaria, said on Sky Sports’ Football Show.
“I have been here before, we have spoken about moments that might change society, we have to hope that this does, it certainly does feel different when I look at the broader reaction.
“I haven’t spoken to my players about the incident last week, because I know where they stand on it. I know the players very well, I have had enough conversations with them to know they would be emotional, frustrated, angry, passionate.
“I know Troy [Townsend, head of development at Kick It Out] and Raheem (Sterling) used the word tired and I have a lot of empathy on where they stand with everything.”
Sterling has been one of the leading voices and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic passionately said on Newsnight that the only virus was racism.
He also questioned the opportunities people from black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) backgrounds get at the top level of sport, citing how easy it has been for Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard to get top management jobs ahead of Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole.
Sport England board member Chris Grant has also spoken of a “systemic problem” and Southgate says it is time to change.
Meanwhile, the PGA Tour has announced that an 8:46am tee time will be reserved for the memory of Floyd, who prosecutors claim was knelt on by police for eight minutes and 46 seconds, at this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge.
A statement on the tour’s Twitter feed said: “As the PGA Tour commits to amplifying the voices and efforts underway to end systemic issues of racial and social injustices impacting our country, we have reserved the 8:46 a.m. tee time at the Charles Schwab Challenge to pay our respects to the memory of George Floyd.
“We will pay respects at 8.46 a.m. during each round with a moment of silence, prayer and reflection.”
England lock Maro Itoje hopes that opening up conversations around race and prejudice can be a catalyst for change, telling the BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast: “The first step is to be very self-reflective, acknowledge your bias and, once you have done that, actively do things to be fair.”
Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton faced a backlash after criticising the removal of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston by protesters in Bristol.
Shilton tweeted: “All you people who are not happy with a government democratically voted by the people with 80 seat majority (and our great country) please go and live somewhere run by dictators (not elected )and see where your actions (like pulling down statues) gets you!!”
However, Shilton’s former England team-mate Gary Lineker urged him to “take your gloves off before you tweet”, while Stan Collymore wrote: “Goalie, you’re a hero of mine, club and country. But seeing an opposing view, particularly one which causes a lot of pain for many ( that’s the key word here) needs to be looked at from both not just one side.”