Source: Associated Press
England has tried its best to gloss over the loss its national soccer team experienced at the hands of the Italian team at the just concluded European national championship. The nation’s history-making run at the tournament ended in a heartbreaking defeat. The aftermath has come with many things, including racist remarks from irate fans toward the Black players.
Having a diverse portrait in a national soccer team is not every fan’s cup of tea, as proven by some English fans, but London’s Metropolitan Police has declared they are swinging into action immediately on Monday to investigate offensive and revisit social media comments on footballers’ pages after the game. Three England players—Marcus Rashforf, Jadon Sancho and Bulayo Saks—all missed their penalty kicks, which has put them under fire.
The three players, who are Black, are members of the young team that has dazzled the nation and continent over the last four weeks as it eased into the final game of the European tournament. Their penalty misses put an end to England’s first crack at national victory in a major tournament since 1966. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and England’s Football Association president Prince William have both denounced the racist harassment of Black players after the team’s loss in Sunday’s Euro 2020 championship final.
High-profile soccer organizations have urged consequences for the people responsible for the torrent of racial abuse, which started after the 3-2 penalty loss to Italy. “It has to stop now, and everyone involved should be held accountable,” Prince William said on Twitter in a tweet that noted how sickened he was by the racist abuse. “The team deserves to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media,” he added. Boris Johnson also tweeted, “Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”
In a statement by the Football Association, the English football governing body said, “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. We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behavior is not welcome in following the team.”
The Professional Footballers’ Union also reacted to the spate of comments the players received. “When you abuse any of our players, you abuse all of us. Racist abuse causes trauma. It will impact the targeted players, their teammates, and we know it will also affect their peers.”
The abuse moved away from social media as a mural in Manchester, England, showing Marcus Rashford and his charitable work was defaced in a way the police tags “racially aggravated.” Many people have overwhelmingly reacted by placing supportive messages over the defaced mural.
England’s coach Gareth Southgate has also called the harassment “Unforgivable,” and in his words, “It’s just not what we stand for,” he said at a news conference Monday. He went further to praise the trio ofRashford, Sancho and Saka. “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.”
None of the three players have commented publicly since the game ended.