Following the Euro 2020 championship final on Sunday, three black England football players have been the targets of racial abuse. This abuse has been targeted directly at the three players who missed their penalty kicks, which resulted in Italy winning the championship. All three – Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka — are Black.
The Euro 2020 championship saw England face off against Italy, with Italy winning during the penalty shootouts with a final score of 3-2. Unfortunately, in defeat, trolls on social media have resurfaced to make England’s loss even more painful. Instead of celebrating England’s first international appearance in over 50 years, fans decided to subject losing players to racial abuse.
Prince Willian and Boris Johnson have both spoken out in response to this. Prince William wrote on Twitter that he was “sickened by the racist abuse” and that “It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable”.
“This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media. Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves,” said Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Twitter.
On Monday, the Football associated released a statement urging the British government to take action to criminalise online harassment. Furthermore, they called out social media platforms and discussed how they need to do more to prevent and remove abusive users. “We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and are appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media,” they said. “We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team.”
The England Football team’s coach, Gareth Southgate, has said that the harassment is unforgivable. “It’s just not what we stand for,” Southgate said. “We heal together as a team now, and we’re there for them, and I know that 99% of the public will be as well, because they will appreciate how well they played.”
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