Boris Johnson has issued a statement condemning racist abuse towards members of the England squad following the final of the European championships.
The prime minister took to Twitter this morning, July 12, to respond to social media users who have shared offensive and discriminatory messages online after Italy beat England 3-2 on penalties in last night’s final.
Much of the abuse has targeted three of the team’s Black players, Bukayo Saka, 19, Marcus Rashford, 23, and Jadon Sancho, 21, who missed penalties in the final minutes of the game.
Johnson slammed those who have shared abuse about the team, writing:
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.
The prime minister’s comments come after the Football Association shared a statement saying it ‘strongly condemns all forms of discrimination’, adding it is ‘appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media’.
The statement continued:
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 appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences.
In addition to imploring the government to take action, the FA urged social media companies to ban users who post abusive content, as well as gathering their posts as evidence so their behaviour can result in prosecution.
Police have said they have launched an investigation in the wake of the online abuse.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk