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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Local residents put messages of support on the plastic that covers offensive graffiti on the vandalised mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on the wall of a cafe on Copson Street, Withington on July 12, 2021 in Manchester, England. Rashford and other Black players on England’s national football team have been the target of racist abuse, largely on social media, after the team’s loss to Italy in the UEFA European Football Championship last night. England manager Gareth Southgate, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the Football Association have issued statements condemning the abuse. (Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The fallout from England’s gut-wrenching loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final took an ugly turn on Monday after racist abuse was hurled on their players. Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka became racism targets online after they missed England’s last three spot-kicks in the penalty shootout.
England’s football organizations condemn racist abuse
England’s Football Association condemned the actions of its supporters in a statement, saying, “The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is 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 behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.”
The England team also jumped to its players’ defense in a tweet, saying “We’re disgusted that some of our squad – who have given everything for the shirt this summer – have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online after tonight’s game. We stand with our players.”
We’re disgusted that some of our squad – who have given everything for the shirt this summer – have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online after tonight’s game.
We stand with our players ❤️ https://t.co/1Ce48XRHEl
— England (@England) July 12, 2021
England players have taken the issue of racism to heart with some of them kneeling before each of their matches during the Euro 2020 tournament in silent protest. That caused outrage among some supporters, with some sections of the England fanbase choosing to boo as the players knelt.
Racial tensions came to a boil when England suffered a 3-2 loss to Italy in the penalty shootout. Rashford, Sancho, and Saka, who are all black, missed each of their penalties, giving further ammunition to racist trolls online who blame the trio for the painful loss.
Rashford’s mural in Withington, Manchester did not escape the racists’ wrath as well as they vandalized the community street art project painted by Akse. The said mural contains a statement, saying, “Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose,” and that holds true for Rashford today.
Marcus Rashford emotional after racial abuse
Rashford was hailed for his work in campaigning for free school meals for the most vulnerable of children in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 crisis. His efforts were recognized by Queen Elizabeth II as he received an MBE (Member of the British Empire) in the birthday honors list last year.
Rashford was clearly emotional in a tweet he sent Monday, saying “The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming, and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears. The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that.”
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