England star Marcus Rashford has shown absolute class in the face of his country’s shameful response to its Euro 2020 final heartbreak on Monday morning.
The Manchester United forward has been the target of online threats and racial abuse following his team’s penalty shootout loss to Italy where he was one of three players to miss spot kicks.
He had vile comments left on Instagram and was sent monkey emojis, prompting outrage from across England.
But the storm has dragged into a second day following further disgusting public comments from high profile people in the UK.
Prince William, English manager Gareth Southgate, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the English Football Association have all spoken out to condemn the disgusting online abuse — but their comments have been met by other comments that further expose the country’s great shame.
The fallout towards the abuse suffered by Rashford and teammates Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, includes:
— Conservative member of parliament Natalie Elphicke being forced to apologise for a message posted on a Private WhatsApp group where she wrote “They lost – would it be ungenerous to suggest Rashford should have spent more time perfecting his game and less time playing politics?”
— Right wing politician Darren Grimes posting on Twitter: “Honestly though @MarcusRashford, penalties not politics from now on, aye?”
— Rashford revealing he had ben left on the verge of tears after learning his mural in Manchester had been defaced with vile messages before true fans covered the abuse with hero messages, hearts and England flags; and
— Comedian Andrew Lawrence having his show cancelled after posting hideous, racist tweets on his Twitter page.
While the storm has been ripping England apart, Rashford showed his class in an emotional Instagram message on Tuesday morning (AEST).
“I don’t even know where to start and I don’t even know how to put into words how I’m feeling at this exact time,” the 23-year-old posted.
Local residents put messages of support on the plastic that covers offensive graffiti on the vandalised mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford.Source:Getty Images
“I’ve had a difficult season, I think that’s been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence. I’ve always backed myself for a penalty but something didn’t feel quite right. During the long run up I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result was not what I wanted. I felt as though I had let my teammates down. I felt as if I’d let everyone down.
“A penalty was all I’d been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep so why not that one? It’s been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels. Final. 55 years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had of gone differently.
“Whilst I continue to say sorry I want to shout out my teammates. This summer has been one of the best camps I’ve experienced and you’ve all played a role in that. A brotherhood has been built that is unbreakable. Your success is my success. Your failures are mine.
“I’ve grown into a sport where I expect to read things written about myself. Whether it be the colour of my skin, where I grew up, or, most recently, how I decide to spend my time off the pitch. I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from.
Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka stand with their teammates.Source:Getty Images
“I’ve felt no prouder moment than wearing those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of 10s of thousands. I dreamt of days like this.
“The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears. The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.
“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that. For all the kind messages, thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger. MR10.”
A post shared by Marcus Rashford MBE (@marcusrashford)
There have now been calls for social media giants Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to police the disgusting cases of online abuse directed at high profile stars.
Facebook and Twitter say they are scrambling to take down the racially abusive comments directed at members of the England football team.
“The abhorrent racist abuse directed at England players last night has absolutely no place on Twitter,” said a spokesperson for the San Francisco-based short messaging service.
“In the past 24 hours, through a combination of machine learning based automation and human review, we have swiftly removed over 1,000 Tweets and permanently suspended a number of accounts for violating our rules — the vast majority of which we detected ourselves proactively using technology.”
— with AFP
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