Racism after penalty defeat
It is with absolute disgust and embarrassment that after a result where a person of colour is on the losing side that supporters, although that term here has lost all meaning, will send vile, racist abuse towards them.
It has become the norm. A failure to address, educate and bring those who persevere these criminal acts to justice.
And so as England lost on penalties with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all failing to convert, the collective reaction was not one of understanding, support and pride but one of vitriol.
Whilst many certainly sent supportive messages, it quickly became evident that the racism associated with English football once again showed its persistent unshackled face.
Saka’s Instagram page was hit with a barrage of monkey emojis, highlighted by thousands of people on social media in addition to racist language.
Be aware, what you see below is disgusting but should not be hidden. It should be exposed to show the problem very much ingrained in society.
The racist abuse towards Bukayo Saka has started. No words… pic.twitter.com/nRNk0BGQSG
— em🌶 (@awfcemily) July 11, 2021
Arsenal, Saka’s parent club, have released a statement in response, condemning the actions and committing to support him.
Arsenal’s statement on the racist abuse aimed at Bukayo Saka after last night’s game. pic.twitter.com/WjJ6ucleVu
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) July 12, 2021
The England team brought a nation together when they were winning. Yet when they lost, people wanted to rip them apart.
Taking the knee
The tournament has come full circle. The players took the knee on the opening game against Croatia and were booed by sections of the crowd.
The players came out and explained their reasoning behind why they were choosing to take the knee before every game.
“I think it shows that if there’s still people booing because we’re standing together against racism, then there really still is a problem and we’ve still got to fight it and stand together,” said Jordan Henderson when asked about the booing.
“It shows even more that we have to keep going, keep fighting it. From our side, it’s about being together and doing what we think is right.”
A video went viral of James O’Brien, hosting a radio show on LBC, speaking to a fan who admitted to booing the players taking the knee. It was evident from the caller’s response to O’Brien’s questioning how flawed the notion of booing the knee was.
‘How hard do you wave your flag while booing England players? Why are you using up a seat a proper fan could have?’
— LBC (@LBC) June 7, 2021
The racist abuse suffered by some of the England players is furthering the justification of the knee being taken.
However, whilst a gesture can send a message, at its core it is still just a gesture. Action is what’s needed and that looks like a bleak prospect at present.
England have been charged by UEFA for the presence of a laser pointer and the booing of the Danish national anthem
This article was edited by Josh Barker.