With Italy defeating England in the Euro finals, some English fans went from bad to worse after their defeat sparked a wave of online racist abuse towards England’s black players.
When the match came to a penalty shootout, three black players on the English side, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho, missed their shots resulting in England losing the match. This caused their Instagram profiles to be slammed with a torrent of racist insults and slurs.
Former players, politicians, and the English team themselves have denounced and condemned these fans. The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, came out against these “fans” in a tweet condemning them and praising the team.
This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 12, 2021
Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.
Prince William also spoke out against the abuse on Twitter.
I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match.— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) July 12, 2021
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
In a statement released on Monday, the Football Association urged the British government to bring forth legislation in order to criminalise online harassment and called on social media companies, like Instagram (owned by Facebook), to do better and remove abusive users from their service.
London’s Metropolitan Police have announced that they are investigating the abuse.
It wasn’t simply limited to the online space either, a mural depicting Rashford in Manchester that celebrates his charity work was defaced in way that police described as “racially aggravated.”
Gareth Southgate, the coach of the English national team, said at a news conference that, “It’s just not what we stand for. We heal together as a team now, and we’re there for them, and I know that 99% of the public will be as well, because they will appreciate how well they played.”
Well this has certainly made British outlet, The Telegraph, lose some face over their article titled “The Euros have destroyed the Leftist myth of backward, racist England.” Reddit has had a field day over on the subreddit r/agedlikemilk.
This isn’t the first time at the Euros that English fans have drawn the ire of the international community. During the match against Denmark at Wembley, English fans were reported by many Danes to have been abusive. One person claimed that their nine-year-old child was “booed directly into his face by one fan.”
Jeanette Jørgensen told The Guardian that people shouted to her “you don’t belong here” and then tried to take away her Danish flag.
During that same match, an English fan shone a laser into the Danish keeper, Kasper Schmeichel’s face. Some English fans also booed during the Danish national anthem and set off fireworks.
It was not the ending to the Euros many were expecting and it is a disappointment to say the least.