England suffered a heartbreaking loss to Italy on penalties at London’s Wembley Stadium in the Euro 2020 Final yesterday. But while the overwhelming majority of the country have taken the loss in stride, some “fans” have taken their frustrations out on some of England’s top players in the form of racial abuse.
Strikers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Sako all failed to convert penalties, handing Italy a 3-2 win in the shootout. All three of those players subsequently targeted by serious racial abuse online.
While the majority of the abuse has been limited to social media, some of the behavior has reached near-criminal heights. A mural dedicated to Rashford in Manchester’s Withington suburb was defaced.
Rashford’s supporters have worked quickly to cover up the hateful messages, posting hearts and other positive messages over it. A crowdfunding effort is underway to pay for the mural’s repair.
Disgusted to see that the mural of @MarcusRashford in Withington in Manchester where I has been defaced.
— Tim Levell (@timlevell) July 12, 2021
The English Football Association (FA) released a statement condemning racial abuse against their players. After pledging to find and punish those responsible, the FA called on the government to enact legislation to help them crack down further.
— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) July 12, 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson similarly called out the culprits and gave his support to the Three Lions. He stated that they deserve to be “lauded as heroes” for their Euro 2020 performance.
“This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media,” Johnson said on Twitter. “Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”
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.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 12, 2021
The England squad for Euro 2020 brought them closer to any trophy since the 1966 World Cup. Around 50-percent of that team was comprised of men from immigrant families.