WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The England soccer team faced racial abuse following their loss in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
- Fans targeted Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka for missing their penalty kicks during the shootout.
- A mural of Rashford in Manchester was also defaced with graffiti but was later covered with words of support by the community.
The England soccer team made it to the finals of the Euro 2020 tournament but lost to Italy in a penalty shootout at Wembley Stadium. Several fans were so enraged with the loss that they took to racial abuse and hurled hurtful words against Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka and Manchester United forwards Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, who missed their penalty kicks.
Rashford’s mural in Manchester was defaced with graffiti after the player’s penalty shot struck the goal post.
The mural, commissioned to honor the United star’s campaign to raise awareness for child food poverty, contains a quote from Rashford’s mother: “Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose.”
The community rallied to cover the graffiti. By Monday afternoon, the mural was filled with hearts and words of support such as “Hero” and “Inspiration.”
Rashford expressed his gratitude on Twitter, writing, “The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continued 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.”
In less than 24 hours, Twitter had to remove over 1,000 tweets and suspend dozens of accounts that spewed hate, Reuters reported.
Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount defended the penalty takers on Twitter, calling them teammates who “were brave enough to step up when it mattered the most,” adding that the abuse directed toward them was “devastating” to see.
England captain Harry Kane called out the online abuse, tweeting, “If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an @England fan and we don’t want you.”
England manager Gareth Southgate, who has always stood with the players against racism while promoting sportsmanship, told the Associated Press, “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.”
Just hours after the match, the England FA released a statement condemning discriminatory abuse.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince William also released statements calling out the abuse.
Source: Sports Illustrated