Last night, numerous South Africans sat through the rollercoaster that was the Euro 2020 final which saw Italy defeat England on Sunday, July 11.
Italy secured the penalty shoot-out at 3-2, after the nail-biting final that finished at 1-1 following extra time. While Italy fans roared with victory and England supporters expressed a heartbreaking loss (the win was not in fact Coming Home but Going to Rome), trolls took to racist targeting.
Especially on social media, some targeted England’s Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka with severe hate speech.
The three young players who are people of colour missed the penalties, which many predicted would see racism on a terrible upsurge, which it unfortunately did.
The worst part isn’t even England not winning it’s the level of racism Saka, Sancho and Rashford are about to face…
— bon??????? (@6bonitaa) July 11, 2021
Having conversations with my children about not using the school bus today and planning what to say & do when the inevitable racism kicks off at them@BukayoSaka87 @MarcusRashford @Sanchooo10 so much love to you lads for the vile racism last night. Always heroes in our house! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/yESpbRGDcW
— Sasha Josette (@NatashaJosette) July 12, 2021
Rashford, Sancho, Saka all missed their pens, the racism in England will reach heights we’ve never seen before
— Don Kimmich (@DonKimmich6) July 11, 2021
It’s so sad these guys will be haunted for the rest of the year for every error they make. Heroes when they do the nation proud but immigrants when they make mistakes.
I stand with Rashford
I stand with Sancho
I stand with Saka
SAY NO TO RACISM!!! pic.twitter.com/YQb5TKCtHY
— Osas (@pandafooties) July 12, 2021
Some examples of the racism exhibited:
Some of the vile comments being left on Raheem Sterling , Marcus Rashford , Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka’s Instagrams already.
— Joe (@joesaunders) July 11, 2021
— Edwin ochieng (@EdwinFrancisOch) July 12, 2021
Someone has vandalised Marcus Rashford’s mural last night.
Do you know how sick in the head do you have to be to do that? This is a fucking disgrace. pic.twitter.com/2novFg4nrg
— ً (@TheFergusonWay) July 12, 2021
The England FA fires back defending their lads
We’re disgusted that some of our squad – who have given everything for the shirt this summer – have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online after tonight’s game.
We stand with our players ❤️ https://t.co/1Ce48XRHEl
— England (@England) July 12, 2021
United District also showed their disapproval of the racist behaviour
We Support Them.
Despite the result last night, racial abuse should not and will not be tolerated.
— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 12, 2021
However, what is incredibly uplifting is just how many people rallied together across the globe to show their love, and encourage others to pour over the hatred and drown out the racist speech.
if you have time, please go to saka, rashford and sancho’s instagram accounts and leave them something beautiful to override the hate speech that’s aleady there. thank you. say no to racism and spread love. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/s1TZouFHh6
— #diaryofnasawali (@nasawali_phame) July 12, 2021
hello! please help spam love to marcus rashford (marcusrashford) and jadon sancho (sanchooo10) instagram accounts too, thank you! ?❤️
— unhinged era (@glassesofwaters) July 11, 2021
Rashford, Saka and Sancho WE LOVE YOU. Heads up. You are so brilliant. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
— ?ANNE-MARIE? (@AnneMarie) July 11, 2021
Rashford, Sancho, Saka, a brilliant trinity of talent and empathy for their fellow human beings.
Love not hate.
Football not racism.
— Alan Gibbons (@mygibbo) July 12, 2021
England have done very well this tournament. Absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Praying for love and protection for Saka, Rashford, and Sancho ❤️❤️❤️
— Nana Adomah (@AltiusTendo) July 11, 2021
saka is 19, rashford is 23 and sancho is 21. they are playing for england and taking penalties at a euro’s final at such young ages…they should be praised for their courage and talent. they should all be SO proud of themselves.
— ♡ (@jolangfrds) July 11, 2021
I’m seeing an overwhelming amount of support for Saka but also for Rashford and Sancho, it’s a beautiful thing to see in all honesty the hate is being drowned out by love. Well done FT.
— Mike Herz (@MikeHerzFC) July 12, 2021
Saka, Rashford and Sancho ???. This week is gonna be tough for them…for the whole team..but I hope they know that they did so well…They played their hearts out and we fell in love with them game after game.This tournament was so beautiful..so so beautiful. #Euro2020Final
— Opeoluwa Olowe (@opeoluwa_olowe) July 11, 2021
Many also showered the young men with love by thanking them for their humanitarian efforts, with special mention to Rashford who raised over 20 million pounds at the end of last year to provide food for children in Britain.
Rashford missed, but he’s put it in the back of the net for the past 12 months and made sure hundreds of thousands of kids across this country haven’t gone to bed hungry. I’m behind him, Sancho, Saka. The whole team. It hurts, it’s gutting. But they’re building something bigger.
— Liam Young (@liamyoung) July 11, 2021