Following England’s defeat against Italy in the EURO 2020 final, racial abuse began flooding the social media accounts of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka. Rashford’s mural in Manchester – painted to honor his work on child food poverty – was also defaced.
Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up & take a pen when the stakes were high. They deserve support & backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an @England fan and we don’t want you. pic.twitter.com/PgskPAXgxV
— Harry Kane (@HKane) July 12, 2021
Some fans even signed a petition – over 723,000 of them – to ban racists from all football matches in England for life.
Harry Kane, the captain of the national team, hasn’t spoken much since their loss, discussing their ‘hurt’ after the game and posting about regrouping for the World Cup – but now, he’s taken a moment to condemn the ‘vile racist’ going after the three, young players.
In a statement he shared, ‘Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up and take a pen when the stakes were high. They deserve support and backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you,’.
Gareth Southgate added that the racist abuse is ‘just not what we stand for… 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,’ as per Sky News.
The manager added, ‘We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together,’.
Rashford’s violated mural has since been covered by hearts and messages of support from fans. In an emotional post, Rashford even shared that he felt like he ‘let everyone down’, while also saying: ‘I’ve grown into a sport where I expected to read things written about myself. Whether it be the colour of my skin, where I grew up, or, most recently, how I decide to spend my time off the pitch.’
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) July 12, 2021
‘I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from. I’ve felt no prouder moment than wearing those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of 10s of thousands,’ he added.