Photo: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images
Black members of England’s national soccer team are revealing some of the racist abuse they’ve been receiving following the team’s loss to Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final.
"Seeing my brothers being racially abused for being brave enough to put themselves in a position to help this country, is something that sickens, but doesn't surprise me,” said team member Tyrone Mings, according to CBS News. “We have literally made history. We've gone where no one else has gone. Take that in."
Both English Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is in charge of the nation’s law enforcement, released statements that are at odds with previous positions they’ve had when it comes to fans expressing racist hate toward soccer players. They say they’re outraged at the latest online abuse.
"I am disgusted that @England players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media. It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable," Patel tweeted a day after the match.
Mings pushed back at Patel for being inconsistent with her outrage. After the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020, Patel criticized English soccer players for kneeling and called it “gesture politics,” which added flames to some of the racism geared toward players.
"You don't get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as 'Gesture Politics' & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we're campaigning against, happens," Mings said.
Additionally, Johnson was criticized for not immediately condemning the booing.
After extra time, the two teams were at a 1-1 standstill before Italy achieved victory during a penalty shootout. England’s Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka, all of whom are Black, missed kicks.
On Monday (July 12), England’s Football Association released a statement condemning the racist abuse.
"The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media," the statement read, according to ESPN. "We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible."
Via Twitter, the England team released a statement condemning abuse targeted at its players on social media.
"We're disgusted that some of our squad -- who have given everything for the shirt this summer -- have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online after tonight's game," the team tweeted.
Additionally, British police say they’re investigating any threats made.
"We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final," the Metropolitan Police tweeted. "This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated."
Verbal abuse wasn’t the only form of attack on Black British players. A mural dedicated to Rashford in Manchester for his work in campaigning for free school meals for the most vulnerable of children in England was vandalised.
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