Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka
Dear Commons Community,
England’s Football Association (FA) has condemned racist social media attacks targeting soccer players following Sunday’s European Championship. Prince William, the president of the English Football Association, said he was “sickened” by the racism aimed at the England players.
If you did not see it, it was a great soccer game with both teams leaving everything they had on the field. After regulation time and two overtimes, the score was tied 1-1 and was decided by penalty kicks which Italy won 3-2 when three Black players failed to score in the shootout. After the game, the three Black players – Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – were subjected to racist abuse on social media including monkey emojis, slurs and taunts to “get out of my country.”
The FA — English soccer’s governing body — released a statement Sunday evening castigating the social media 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 reads. “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.”
Racist abuse toward soccer players throughout Europe is nothing new. English players have taken a pregame knee throughout Euro 2020 as a statement against racism and discrimination. The act has been met with a mix of cheers and boos from fans in the stands.
The FA vowed on Sunday to seek punishment for fans engaging in racist abuse. It also urged social media companies to take responsibility.
“We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible,” the statement continues. “We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences.
“Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.”
It was a sad ending to an outstanding game.