Defender Tyrone Mings has hit out at Home Secretary Priti Patel after three England players suffered racial abuse following the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were all subjected to abusive posts in the wake of their missed penalties in the shootout defeat to Italy at Wembley on Sunday night.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has denounced the abuse in strong terms, saying it has “no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable”.
But England defender Tyrone Mings pointed out that Patel has criticised the players in the past for their decision to take a knee before matches – which they believe is an important signal of their determination to fight against racism.
Responding to Patel’s comments, Mings wrote: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.”
Mings also wrote: “I’m still struggling to find the words to express my emotions from the past month.
“I’m so proud of everyone who has contributed to the joy and togetherness this team has bought to millions. We have celebrated, smiled, cried and cheered together & for that, I’m so so proud.
“But waking up today and seeing my brothers being racially abused for being brave enough to put themselves in a position to help this country, is something that sickens, but doesn’t surprise me.
“We have literally made history. We’ve gone where no one else has gone. Take that in.”
Captain Harry Kane says the people who sent the abuse to England players after the match are not true fans and that their support is not wanted.
The abuse has been condemned by figures throughout the sport, from the Government and opposition parties, and by the Duke of Cambridge.
Kane wrote on Twitter: “Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up and take a pen when the stakes were high.
“They deserve support and backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night.
“If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.”
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 @England fan and we don’t want you. pic.twitter.com/PgskPAXgxV
— Harry Kane (@HKane) July 12, 2021
Other England players have joined Kane in using their social media accounts to condemn the abuse – which has cast a pall over England’s achievement in reaching a first major final for 55 years.
Midfielder Jude Bellingham said the abuse was “hurtful but not surprising”.
He added: “Will never get bored of saying that more needs to be done. Educate and control the platforms!”
Defender Reece James posted: “We learn more about the society when we lose, far more than we learn when we win.”
England manager Gareth Southgate has condemned the racist online abuse suffered by a number of England players following the Euro 2020 loss to Italy.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka’s social media pages were flooded with racist comments after their penalty shootout misses, leading the FA to release a statement condemning the “disgusting behaviour”.
England manager Southgate said the discrimination directed at the three players following the defeat at Wembley demonstrates the antithesis of what the national team’s values are and the “togetherness” that the squad has shown.
When asked about the abuse, he said: “For some of them to be abused is unforgivable really.
“I know some of that has come from abroad, people who track these things are able to explain that, but not all of it.
“It’s just not what we stand for. We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.
“We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together.”
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