A few English football fans indulged in racist behaviour after England lost the Euro Cup 2020 final to Italy. The online hatred of a few trolls was especially targeted at the three Black players of the team: Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka. Their social media accounts were attacked by racist attacks. A mural of Rashford was also defaced in England by racist football fans.
Amidst reports of rise in racist behaviour, several people have stood up for the four players including celebrities, UK Prime Minister, and team manager Gareth Southgate. A tweet by PM Boris Johnson read, “This England team deserves to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media. Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”
This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 12, 2021
Several netizens took to the social media handles of Saka, Sancho and Rashford and commented with endearing messages of love and support to drown the racist attack that they were under.
The defaced mural of Rashford was also covered with the flag of England and hand-written messages from fans who posted it on the wall with a heart-shaped paper cut-out.
Several celebrities also expressed their support for the players on social media. British actor Tom Holland, who plays Marvel superhero Spider-Man, shared a post on his social media handle on Monday calling out the racist behaviour and how it stood against expected behaviour of "decent Englishmen.” The edited picture shared by the actor featured the three players with the animated golden crowns floating above their heads. Holland’s caption was a passionate note where he mentioned, “The people abusing any England players are the only people who have let anyone down.” He further mentioned, “You are not my countrymen. These players deserve nothing but respect.”
Actors Florence Pugh, Jameela Jamil, and Japanese-Haitian Tennis player Naomi Osaka also expressed their support to the players.
Meanwhile, London's Metropolitan Police also announced that it will investigate the online racial abuse directed at the three English players.
We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final.This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.
— Metropolitan Police Events (@MetPoliceEvents) July 12, 2021
England had lost to Italy after missing penalties in the 3-2 shootout.