Many are rightly disgusted by the racism poured on Black English players after the England team lost the Euro2020 final on penalties. This team of young lads have given us something positive and hopeful during an awful year, but some of the young men who missed a penalty were black, so they have been blamed and abused. Many people are signing a petition for those who racially abuse players to be banned from matches. We agree there need to be deterrents for those targeting players based on race. This kind of behaviour should be in the dustbin of history.
However, like Gary Neville, Angela Rayner and many others, we feel that if we are going to denounce the actors of racism, we must also denounce the enablers and promoters of racism.
Boris Johnson and Priti Patel's failure to denounce those booing a solidarity gesture has encouraged racists. Patel in particular stood up for those booing their own fans, showing she had their back. Even worse, Conservative MPs like Brendan Clarke-Smith and Lee Anderson have actively encouraged people to abuse the player's choice to take the knee.
They can't have it both ways, encourage fans to abuse the players one week, and claim to be outraged by racist abuse the next week.
The young men Marcus Rashford (23), Bukayo Saka (19) and Jadon Sancho(21), despite missing their penalties, have shown they are the bright future of this country. The racists abusing them for the colour of their skin have shown again that they are a gruesome hangover from this country’s past.