Fans have rallied behind Bukayo Saka after his Instagram account was flooded with racist abuse in the wake of England’s Euros defeat.
England’s historic tournament came to a heartbreaking close last night. While Luke Shaw’s early goal showed promise for the final, Italy eventually equalised and later emerged victorious in penalties, with missed kicks from Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.
Racist comments targeting the three players quickly surfaced online, with both the Met Police and Football Association condemning the abuse.
Multiple screenshots of Saka’s Instagram comments have been shared on social media, with highly offensive, racist messages hitting his account within minutes of England’s defeat.
‘We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team,’ the FA said in a statement, as per BBC News.
‘We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible. 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,’ it added.
‘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,’ the FA said.
Despite the subset of fans abusing the three players, others have voiced tremendous support for them while encouraging people to report racist comments.
‘Anybody racially abusing Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka on social media tonight is not a patriot. *You* are why they take a knee. Racist cowards should feel the full force of the law and social media companies must do more to keep this poison off their platforms,’ MP Angela Rayner wrote.
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
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