British police have opened investigations into the racist abuse of three Black players who missed penalty kicks during England's shootout loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, according to The Associated Press. The match finished 1-1 before Italy won the shootout, 3-2.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka are the three England players who have been targeted with this racism after missing their penalty kicks. In addition to loads of online abuse, a mural of Rashford on the wall of a cafe in Manchester was defaced. Rashford has taken a lot of heat on social media for his social justice work.
This racism has been roundly criticized from all over. The English Football Association released this statement on the “disgusting behavior” displayed by fans:
“We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible,” the FA said. “We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences.”
England coach Gareth Southgate said this:
“We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together, in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue,” Southgate said Monday.
Prince William, the president of the FA, sent out this tweet:
I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match.
It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour.
It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable. W
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) July 12, 2021
London Mayor Sadiq Khan chimed in:
There is absolutely no place for racism in football or anywhere else.
Those responsible for the disgusting online abuse we have seen must be held accountable – and social media companies need to act immediately to remove and prevent this hate.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) July 12, 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the racist abuse of the England players, though some are calling him out for not taking enough of a stand in favor of players protesting racial injustice before their matches. Critics believe he emboldened racist behavior with previous comments.
Twitter and Facebook also addressed the issues on their platforms and are trying to remedy the situation, but a lot of the damage has been done already.