Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka have been dealing with racist attacks ever since they missed their penalty kicks in the 2020 Euro Finals.
England started out going 2-2, but the next three players, Rashford, Sancho, and Saka, who are all Black, missed their kicks and Italy ended up winning in penalties. After the result, English fans began sending racist messages to those three, despite the team being widely praised for its diversity and social conscience.
On the latest episode of CBC Sports video series Bring It In, Morgan Campbell is joined by Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin to discuss the racist comments fans made to the three players. For Zirin, he says it’s not surprising.
WATCH | Bring It In discusses racial abuse after Euro 2020:
“The old expression is, for Black soccer players, is you are English when you win, you are Black when you lose. In this country, it’s almost like a renunciation of your very citizenship if you don’t win,” Zirin said. “I would like to say it’s one of those things where you say it’s shocking but not surprising. Anytime you see an outbreak of racism like we saw the other night, there is a shock value of it. To see a mural of Marcus Rashford vandalized is unbelievable to me.”
“I was going to call it provisional, it’s there until you mess up and then at that point the mainstream calls themselves revoking your membership in this club. Like you, I’m not surprised,” Campbell added.
After the players began getting attacked by fans, star player Harry Kane stepped up to praise his three teammates for their brilliant play throughout the season.
Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up & take a pen when the stakes were high. They deserve support & backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an <a href=”https://twitter.com/England?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@England</a> fan and we don’t want you. <a href=”https://t.co/PgskPAXgxV”>pic.twitter.com/PgskPAXgxV</a>
England’s manager, Gareth Southgate, then came to their defence saying it was his fault. But McPeak believes the manager should’ve done something sooner, not after the racist comments began to pile up.
“England [fans] showed their asses. They showed their asses in this moment, you showed your asses before the match even started with your ignorance and stupidity trying to bum rush security to get into the stadium because you didn’t have tickets,” McPeak continued.
“Why aren’t you putting it on the rest of the team for even being tied going into penalty kicks. Why weren’t you up 2-1 in this game then? If your team is so good and you are going to put this solely on those three players why weren’t you up 2-1 and this wouldn’t have been a situation?”
Since the backlash, several teammates have spoke up and praised Rashford, Sancho and Saka. However, for Campbell, he believes sport continues to bring the worst out of people and it shouldn’t be surprising to see that the Black athletes are the scapegoats.
“For as much as we talk about sport uniting us, sport brings the worst out of a lot of people,” Campbell said. “If these people have an opportunity to scapegoat some Black people, even though these are the same people that brought England to the final, same group of guys, but if you have an excuse to scapegoat them this is what folks are going to do.”