Racists Abhorred By Racism Against Black English Soccer Players
Michael Holden and Mitch Phillips of Reuters write how Black players in the England soccer team have been subjected to a storm of online racist abuse after their defeat in the final of Euro 2020, drawing wide condemnation from the squad’s captain, manager, royalty, religious leaders and politicians. Marcus Rashford, 23, Jadon Sancho, 21, and Bukayo Saka, 19, were the targets of the abuse after they missed spot-kicks in a penalty shootout with Italy which settled Sunday’s final after the game finished as a 1-1 draw. The comments have prompted a police investigation and wide condemnation, although critics accused some ministers of hypocrisy for refusing to support a high-profile anti-racist stance the players had made during the tournament.
English captain Harry Kane:
English Manager Gareth Southgate:
Prince William who also serves as the President of the Football Association:
Seven time Formula One Champion Englishman Lewis Hamilton
While the social media feeds of the players also showed huge levels of support, the abuse overshadowed the positive messages. Marcus Rashford:
Holden and Phillips:
The team had highlighted the issue of racism by taking the knee before all their matches – a protest made by American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick and followed by the Black Lives Matter movement last year – saying it was a simple show of solidarity against racial discrimination.
However, some fans have booed the gesture, with critics viewing it as a politicization of sport and expression of sympathy with far-left politics.
Some ministers have been accused of hypocrisy for refusing to criticise those who booed and using it as part of a wider “culture war”, often portrayed as a rift between those wanting to protect Britain’s heritage from a “woke” youth, who see their elders as blocking moves to end racial and social injustice.
Racists Against Racism towards Black English Soccer Players?
The hypocrisy in reaction to this abuse had been pretty staggering. English Prime Minister Boris Johnson:
Yet Johnson was evasive when asked about support for English players taking a knee:
Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian reported how Labour Opposition leader Kair Starmer called out Johnson on his hypocrisy:
The idea you boo the team is completely wrong,” Starmer said. “This is a response to what is an important collective decision by the team about their expression of their opposition to discrimination and racism. That’s the decision they’ve taken and I think they’re right.
All of us should support them and all of us in a position to do so should show leadership, as Gareth Southgate has done, and have the courage to call it out and say it’s the wrong thing to do. The prime minister was wrong when he refused to call it out. He didn’t have the guts to call it out, he hedged his bets and in doing so he undermined the team on the verge of this competition.
He didn’t have the courage to side with the players. That is leadership. Compare and contrast him and Gareth Southgate on this. He didn’t have the courage to stand by the England team on the verge of this competition and he’s wrong about that and that’s a failure of leadership.”
Interior Minister Priti Patel:
English defender Tyrone Ming’s called Patel out on her hypocrisy:
Meghan Markle Isn’t A Black English Soccer Player Yet…
Jack Royston of Newsweek points out the abuse of black soccer players by some England fans is more evidence for many that Meghan Markle’s account of racism in Britain was probably correct. The Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey she was the victim of racist abuse during her two years in the royal family in her tell-all interview in March. Meghan was targeted for abuse by online trolls from the very start of her relationship with Prince Harry, prompting a rare public statement by Kensington Palace within days of the first news article disclosing her identity.
In November 2016, Harry’s communications secretary Jason Knauf released a statement saying:
His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public—the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
The duchess told Oprah in March:
I think the volume of what was coming in and the interest was greater because of social media, because of the fact that I was not just British.
If members of his family say, well, this is what’s happened to all of us, or if they can compare what the experience that I went through was similar to what has been shared with us, Kate was called Waity Katie, waiting to marry William, while I imagine that was really hard, and I do.
I can’t picture what that felt like. This is not the same. And if a member of his family will comfortably say we’ve all had to deal with things that are rude. Rude and racist are not the same.
Following the Oprah interview, Buckingham Palace said on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II:
The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.
The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.
Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.
Black English Soccer Players Were Formally Told The UK Isn’t Racist
Mohammed Zameer for Insider wrote in April how the United Kingdom, much like the rest of the world, is having a moment of reckoning about racial injustice, further complicated by its colonialist past. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 that followed the killing of George Floyd in America, the UK government established the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities to help address concerns about the racial inequalities that permeate British society even today.
A much anticipated report investigating race and ethnic disparities apparently found no evidence of institutional racism in the country; instead heralding Britain as a model for other white majority nations.
The investigative panel, which was meant to be independent, seemed to mostly consist of individuals whose ideology was in line with the Conservative government’s views and lacked expertise in many of the matters being investigated. Former Shadow Home Secretary and current Labour MP Diane Abbott — the first Black woman to be elected to Parliament — went as far as accusing the government of consciously packing it with people who did not believe in institutional racism. And others who took part in the report are now trying to distance themselves from its results.
Ironically, that’s what’s happening here. People overwhelmingly claim something not to be racist only because either they are already predisposed to believe that things aren’t racist or they have no familiarity nor understanding of racism. When the racism becomes so blatantly obvious that it can not be ignored, the same people seek to distance themselves from it.